Warriors

Wiseman ranks with elite company in per-40 minute ratings

Warriors
James Wiseman, Warriors

Another day, another James Wiseman accolade. 

The Warriors' rookie center has played in just 10 NBA games, but he's already become one of the most alluring names in the sport. The 19-year-old has shined as a member of Golden State's starting rotation, putting the league on notice with both his poise and performance. Now, the No. 2 overall pick finds himself in elite company. 

Based off his first eight games, Wiseman averaged 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes. For comparison, just two other players have posted those numbers over an entire season before age 21: Shaquille O'Neal and Anthony Davis.

Yeah, pretty elite company.

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As the Warriors begin to solidify their identity this season, Wiseman has found himself smack in the center of it. After playing just three college games, Wiseman has shown remarkable ability despite no Summer League, and missing out on the entirety of the Warriors' limited December training camp. He's started in all 10 of Golden State's games this season and currently leads all rookies in blocked shots (1.5), is second in rebounds (6.1) and fourth in points-per-game (10.9).

He's impressed coach Steve Kerr consistently and teammate Draymond Green recently noted Wiseman “has a chance to be an All-Star, a premier player in this league."

Wiseman has flashed a few inconsistencies (as can be expected for a rookie with such sparse experience), and he wasn't on the court in the fourth quarter of Golden State's last two contests.

 

Associate head coach Mike Brown explained why on 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" show.

"We gotta remember he's 19," Brown said. "He played in a couple of college games. We gotta keep having some patience while he grows. And it is tricky because we do want to win, we do want to get off to a good start.

"[But] we have to keep trying to give him opportunities to experience different game situations in close games down the stretch, and throughout the course of the game. Which is gonna be tricky for us because of his inexperience and us trying to win games."

RELATED: Wiseman has proved All-Star potential through 10 games

While Wiseman admitted it's difficult to not be on the court as the team finishes games, he also said he's using that time on the bench as a learning period. 

"Execution is the main component," he said. "Also, the defensive end is how you win championships. That's how you win games, so just focusing on that end more."

Obviously, Wiseman is still incredibly young, and it's safe to expect some more upcoming growing pains. But if early results are any indication to how he'll respond, Wiseman -- and the Warriors -- should be just fine.