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Warriors center Marquese Chriss out for season with fibula fracture

PBT's Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson reveal their picks for NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year and more with the 2020-21 season finally set to begin.

The Golden State’s already shallow front line just got a little thinner.

Warriors’ backup center Marquese Chriss is out for the season due to a fractured fibula (the bone next to the shin bone in the calf area), a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Warriors have since confirmed the news.

A syndesmosis ankle injury is a high ankle sprain. It’s the fibula fracture that will require surgery.

Steve Kerr has started Eric Paschall and rookie James Wiseman as the Warriors front line, but Chriss has been the first big off the bench. Chriss has averaged 13.5 minutes a game, scoring 6.5 points a night, through the first two games.

Chriss’ injury likely means more minutes for Kevon Looney off the bench.

It also means more minutes and responsibility for Wiseman, who has been the Warriors’ lone bright spot so far, averaging 18.5 points and seven rebounds a game, playing nearly 25 minutes a game. Wiseman’s athleticism is impressive — he is lightning quick for a big when he moves (either rolling to the rim or looking to block shots) and his length is a huge advantage. He’s shot the ball well (4-of-5 from three so far), and he has taken a quarter of his shots at the rim, where he dunks with authority.

Wiseman still looks like a rookie at points, and he’s behind the curve after missing much of training camp due to COVID-19. He’s not sure how to find space in the Warriors flow offense or instinctually how to take advantage of the space Stephen Curry creates on offense, and he has looked lost on defense at points. However, as he adjusts to the NBA game’s speed and style, he could be a force. Wiseman will get a trial by fire this season, but that should speed his development, a good thing for a team whose core is aging.