Draymond Green has a special project this year: Grooming a future superstar in James Wiseman for the Warriors.
Whether it be at practice, behind the scenes or during games, Green has taken Wiseman under his wing. He's making sure the young center is just as sharp mentally as he is physically. After two tough games for Wiseman against the Los Angeles Clippers, Green explained how the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft can hurt himself with his frustrations.
"I think he gets too frustrated with himself," Green said Saturday to reporters. "He gets so frustrated that he kind of takes himself out of this game right now."
To further explain what he means, Green brought it back to his own game during the Warriors' 115-105 comeback win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday at Chase Center.
"Like I told him, I probably had one of the worst games of my career last night, but down the stretch I was able to make a couple of plays because you have to be able to forget what happened earlier in the game or sometimes even a possession before," Green said. "You have to be able to forget and move on and try and make a play for your team to give your team an advantage."
Wiseman scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and blocked one shot in Golden State's seven-point loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, and then had nine points, six rebounds and two blocks in the Warriors' win. But he was minus-7 in the loss and a minus-21 in the win. Coach Steve Kerr left him off the floor down the stretch as the Warriors stormed back for a wild win on Friday.
But Green reminded just how young Wiseman is, and the fact that a good team like the Clippers with a smart veteran big man like Serge Ibaka will always find ways to exploit a youngster, no matter how talented he is.
"He's 19. All of those things he'll figure out," Green said. "I think that was also his first game playing a big like Serge [Ibaka] that's always spaced and kind of finding the pocket. Serge is in what Year 12, Year 13? Maybe 14, whatever. He's just much more savvy than [Wiseman]. So if anything, he just got out-savvied.
"That's gonna happen. You've got savvy veterans who's always gonna take advantage of a rookie, especially someone that's getting the minutes that Wise's getting. But nonetheless, he'll figure it out. He's 12 games removed from high school basketball. I know a lot of guys who came out of high school and 12 games removed wasn't as good as Wise is right now, so he'll be fine."
Through nine games, Wiseman is averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He's looked up and down at times, but certainly has flashed a superstar skill set. There's no doubt he'll continue to improve and put his game together more often, especially thanks to the mentorship of Draymond.