The Golden State Warriors sit tied for seventh in the Western Conference with a 7-6 record through the first month of the NBA season. Despite losing Klay Thompson to another devastating injury, the Warriors are not in any mood to tank.
So, it’s clear the Warriors are going to give it their all in 2020-21 and that shouldn’t be a surprise. The Warriors missed out on the playoffs last year as Stephen Curry and Thompson missed the majority of the season and Kevin Durant took his talents to Brooklyn before the season began.
After the loss of Thompson was announced, it appeared that the Warriors would struggle this season, but that hasn’t been the case. Curry is still playing at a high level, and Andrew Wiggins has been having the best year of his career so far. Draymond Green has returned and has gotten back to his usual self, and Oubre has picked up the play as of the past few games.
Unfortunately, James Wiseman has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. Wiseman only played three games in college at the University of Memphis, but his talent was never questioned or in doubt.
While the talented rookie has been off to start the season, the Warriors simply can’t wait for him to play at a high level.
The Warriors’ chances of another title are shrinking by the day. For Wiseman, his learning curve has to be expedited more than any other rookie drafted in his class.
The new Warriors big man is averaging 10 points and six boards through the early stages of the year and is fresh off a disappointed 13-minute, five-foul performance on Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Wiseman was seen punching a cooler after going to the bench with his fifth foul, and the rookie is only focused on improving.
James Wiseman whacks a cooler in frustration pic.twitter.com/oVYMOtGi6w
— CJ Fogler 6'7" IQ 269 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 19, 2021
The Warriors definitely can’t expect Wiseman to be a star right out of the gate, but Steve Kerr and company need him to pick up the pace if they want any chance at being competitive in the Western Conference.
With some key injuries to the Portland Trail Blazers and another year of the play-in tournament for the NBA playoffs, the possibility of a playoff seed isn’t out of the realm.
Curry has gotten off to a blazing hot start, as the three-time NBA champion is averaging over 28 points and six assists this season. Curry hasn’t lost a step at all, and he is encouraging Wiseman and telling him to keep his head up.
Steph Curry on James Wiseman's bright future despite the current struggles: "I used to get benched for Acie Law"
— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) January 19, 2021
Curry’s little slight towards Acie Law was meant for encouragement for the Warriors rookie, and he isn’t the only one who is helping Wiseman pick up tips as the games go along.
Green was seen mentoring him in Monday night’s game against the Lakers, and the Memphis product needs to soak up everything he can and apply it quickly so the Warriors can have any chance at competing in the Western Conference.
Draymond coaching up the rook Wiseman 💯 pic.twitter.com/BvM21QAVG3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 19, 2021
Head coach Steve Kerr has also shown nothing but support for the rookie, even if he has gotten off to a bit of a disappointing start.
Steve Kerr on James Wiseman: "That's the best team in the league over there. It was a tough night for James. But there are gonna be nights like this early in his career. I love how he's handing things." Kerr said he loved that Wiseman hit something when he checked out of game mad
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 19, 2021
The Warriors selected Wiseman over LaMelo Ball—a move that many still discuss to this day—but the talent level is through the roof for the big man. If Wiseman can learn from this group of talented players, and apply it, the Warriors could be a legitimate threat come playoff time.