James Wiseman's last three games are a perfect example of his up-and-down rookie year with the Warriors.
The young center made a statement against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday when he scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just the fourth quarter after being punished for missing a COVID-19 test. He then played a solid 23 minutes Sunday in a win over the Utah Jazz when he scored 16 points and had four rebounds. But Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers was a different story.
Wiseman played just under 28 minutes before fouling out in a 31-point blowout loss. He scored seven points and had eight rebounds, but was a minus-25 in plus-minus. However, Steve Kerr believes there's plenty Wiseman can take away from watching the tape of the ugly loss.
"There's so many lessons for James every single night," Kerr said to reporters after the loss. "It's hard being a young big in this league. There's so many lessons to learn, so many tricks of the trade, so many pictures you have to see and recognize and then immediately react to being in the right spot. It'll be a good tape to watch for him -- losing vision, losing connection on the backside of the defense.
"But it was a team effort. There's always five guys involved and I didn't think our defense was good at all at any position."
The Lakers scored 68 points in the paint -- without Anthony Davis -- and shot 63 percent from the field against the Warriors. In 25 minutes off the bench, Lakers backup Montrezl Harrell scored 27 points and was a plus-16.
On the other side, Warriors starting center Kevon Looney failed to score any points, Draymond Green had just two points, Eric Paschall scored five and Wiseman added his seven. It wasn't a great night for Golden State's big men, to say the least.
Though it was far from one of Wiseman's best games, Kerr believes Wiseman didn't play quite as bad as the box score shows and he remains encouraged by the rookie.
"He's doing a great job," Kerr said. "He's fighting, he's just got to get the reps and feel it and keep getting back."
Wiseman's development continues to be a big point of emphasis in this odd season. While Monday night might be a game he hopes to forget, it could be yet another teaching moment for the 7-foot teenager.