The Golden State Warriors have a problem with James Wiseman

The Golden State Warriors have a problem with James Wiseman

Things haven’t been going well for the defending NBA champions lately. The Golden State Warriors are in the middle of a four-game losing streak, all on the road. The latest came against an Orlando Magic team that was 1-7 going into Thursday’s game; the Warriors squandered a 16-point lead en route to the L.

A glaring part of the ignominious loss was the performance of third-year center James Wiseman. In less than 10 minutes of playing time, Wiseman found himself with more fouls (3) than points (2), and was a -9 overall for the Dubs. The silver lining – although perhaps more comparable to the sheen of tin foil – was that he ended up with as many rebounds as he made fouls.

Wiseman wasn’t the reason they lost, though the Dubs blew their heads off with him on the ground, but he was far from helpful in helping the team avoid defeat. He was also not named as the only problem in post-match commentary. But his struggles arose. Coach Steve Kerr and veteran forward Draymond Green each mentioned Wiseman, or alluded to it in Green’s case, but they did their best to tone down the criticism.

Kerr mentioned that he was still a “believer” in the former No. 2 overall pick, and that he liked Wiseman’s “talent” and “attitude.” Green opted to lump together the struggles of older players and younger players like the 21-year-old big man.

“It’s definitely the fault of some of our young guys, but it’s no more their fault than our fault,” Green said.

Of course, Kerr and Green have good reason not to publicly break a young player’s trust – the fact that it took them half a season to select No. 2 overall in 2020 leading the way. them. But for people without such worries, it’s hard to overstate how bad Wiseman has been this season.

On the stats alone, that 3-6 campaign has been an absolute nightmare for the centre. When he’s on the field, the Warriors as a whole get worse defensively and offensively. This drop particularly affects Steph Curry: whenever Wiseman shares the floor with the reigning Finals MVP, Curry’s net rating down 32 points, from +12.5 to -19.5. Perhaps more damningly, the Dubs are somehow a worst rebounding team with the 7-foot rushing Wiseman: Prior to Thursday’s game, the Warriors were giving up offensive rebounds at a rate below the league’s worst offensive rebounding team with Wiseman in the field.

He also averages 8.8 fouls per 100 possessions, up two whole fouls from his rookie year. Then there’s this, from StatMuse:

Wiseman has had a negative plus-minus or been a net-zero in 36 of his 48 career games.

It’s not just that Wiseman might be the worst player to get regular minutes on the team, which the statistics show that it isFiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR metric rated it as the worst player in the whole league of the 250 qualified players.

Amidst it all, the play that seems to have become the straw that broke the camel’s back for Warriors fans came with 3:22 left in the third quarter on Thursday, when the young big man placed a rather soft screen for Curry as Curry brought the ball up. on the ground. After his halfhearted pick, Wiseman came back into the paint and appeared to shake his head in frustration when he didn’t get the pass. The play culminated in a challenged step back three by Curry which clicked the front of the rim. A quick look at the box score would tell you that Curry simply missed a shot here, but that ignores the dynamic that unfolded on the pitch.

One piece barely defines an entire season, but this particular moment has drawn a certain Zapruder-like fascination. While some argue Wiseman’s frustrated nod came because he was annoyed that he didn’t receive the ball – which would indeed be an awful look for a struggling young player showing off the best player in franchise history – there is apparently reason to believe it was actually frustration with himself for not executing the game correctly.

However, this is not a unique case. Other Warriors watchers pointed to other games where Wiseman’s execution left much to be desired. As a result of those examples, along with his shockingly poor stats, Wiseman has become the face of the team’s struggles with their young players (Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have each produced their own mediocre seasons thus far). And that translates into frustration with what appears to be less than stellar decision-making by a front office that opted to keep Wiseman over players like Gary Payton II and Damion Lee, who were more consistent but are gone during the offseason.

It was good of Kerr to support his struggling young center, who will likely be maligned for his play for months to come barring a major turnaround. But the niceties may soon be coming to an end. The team announced that Curry, Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins would miss Friday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Even if it was just about the head coach giving his starters back-to-back rest, the decision still means the team’s struggling young guys will be thrown into the fire against Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum and possibly- be Brandon Ingram, too. Things might have looked bad for Wiseman before, but they could be even worse after Friday’s game.

#Golden #State #Warriors #problem #James #Wiseman

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *