Warriors

How Wiseman looked in first Warriors scrimmage to Kerr

Warriors

James Wiseman hit another benchmark in his NBA career Wednesday as the rookie went through his first scrimmage as a Warrior.

Wiseman's first scrimmage contained positives and negatives, but overall it was categorized as "good" by coach Steve Kerr.

"It was good, we played 12 minutes, so both James and Draymond really got to blow it out and they needed that run and to feel the pace of the game and to get up and down the floor," Kerr told Bay Area reporters. "It went well. It's exactly what you'd expect from a guy who hasn't played basketball in about a year, so he made some great plays using his athleticism and his speed, and he was a little late on some plays because he hasn't experienced what he's looking at before.

"Kind of exactly what we would have expected. I think the main thing is to just help him along. Because he didn't have the benefit of a summer league and we're just kind of throwing him right out there into the fire. So it's going to take a little bit of time, but all-in-all a really good day."

But any mistakes the No. 2 overall pick made were overshadowed by his impressive athleticism.

"He's just so athletic and fast in transition and his ability to get up and down the floor and finish every play is impressive," Kerr said. "The stuff that has to slow down for him is just his coverages, schemes, understanding angles when we are running offensive plays, angles on his screens, what's the next option if the first option isn't there. All the little stuff that is just being piled on his plate before he has even had a chance to get on an NBA floor with other players in a full-court setting.

 

"It's all happening really fast, so it's going to take some time."

Wiseman echoed Kerr's assessment of his performance in the scrimmage.

"I thought today's practice was great," Wiseman told reporters. "We were just getting to know each other, basically getting our chemistry up and really just trusting each other, trying to work on our plays and stuff, trying to make sure we know each other's tendencies. But it was a great practice today.

"My mistake was really just passing into the post and making sure that I was supposed to split-cut and get to the basket, but I missed one. I'm just getting better at that. I learned a lot of stuff. I made some mistakes but I made great plays, too. So I'm just learning."

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Kerr said that Wiseman and Draymond Green won't play in the Warriors' preseason finale Thursday against the Kings.

Despite no preseason action, Kerr wouldn't say that Wiseman was out of the running to be the Warriors' starting center when Golden State opens the season Dec. 22 against the Brooklyn Nets.

"No, I wouldn't necessarily say that," Kerr said when asked if the starting spot was down to Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss. "I think it could be any of the three. It just depends on where we are next Tuesday."

When Wiseman does take the floor for the first time as a Warrior, Kerr said he will play the 19-year-old in short bursts initially, doing what's best to help Wiseman learn the NBA game.

"Given that he's been out for this long, probably short bursts. We'll have to see how every game goes depending on what's happening on the floor. We'll for sure want to keep his bursts short so that we can teach him. We don't want to play him 10-12 minutes and not have him learn anything. So it's our job to balance that along with how the game is going. We're trying to win the game.

"So if he's doing great, maybe we'll leave him out there. If he's struggling, we'll take him out."

After a year spent at the bottom of the NBA, the Warriors are ready to return to the spotlight. Wiseman is a big part of their plans to contend this season and for years to come.