James Wiseman started hot against the Hawks in the Warriors’ 117-111 loss on Sunday, but coach Steve Kerr subbed him out early. The telecast thought Wiseman was perhaps injured and wouldn’t start the second half.
He did start, but Wiseman had another short stint and played just 18 minutes on the night. So what gives? It was a matchup thing, said Kerr postgame, per NBC Sports’ Drew Shiller.
Wiseman did indeed play well. He tallied eight points and five rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting. He had just one foul, zero turnovers and Golden State was plus-3 with him on the floor.
Nothing for Wiseman to hang his head about there. Lots of positive vibes for the 20-year-old rookie center. Could this be a new strategy for Kerr and his staff?
It seems that after Kerr proclaimed Wiseman was his starter, he threw him to the wolves, regardless of matchup. Think the Heat game against center Bam Adebayo. That was no contest, and Wiseman played poorly. A shorter stint that night could have done him well.
Sometimes it seems like Kerr doesn’t know what to do with Wiseman, as in how much to play him and when. The inconsistency is a bit off-putting. But I like the idea of playing Wiseman fewer minutes, providing him with favorable matchups when possible.
Wiseman’s personality is a large factor here. He’s a perfectionist, and takes mistakes too hard. If Kerr could set him up for success, regardless of how many minutes Wiseman plays, it could help him develop more rapidly.
(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)