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James Wiseman gives honest take on guarding Nikola Jokic

Warriors, James Wiseman

Golden State Warriors rookie James Wiseman had his welcome to the NBA moment on Thursday, when he went head-to-head with arguably the best center in the league today, Nikola Jokic. After the Dubs’ 104-114 loss to Jokic and the Nuggets, the 19-year-old center said he learned quite a lot just by shadowing The Joker.

“Man, he got, like, a lot of tricks,” Warriors big man James Wiseman said in a postgame video conference (via NBC Sports’ Marcus White).

“So I just had to make sure I just stayed attentive like every second that I was guarding him. I knew I was supposed to get an arm bar on him, but he got me on the spin move with the and-1.”

Nikola Jokic certainly got the better of James Wiseman for most of their match-up. But it was one moment in the second quarter that the Warriors rookie would probably not forget anytime soon. The 7-foot Serbian sized up the former University of Memphis standout on the post, before spinning baseline and throwing down a reverse two-handed jam over the top of his head.

The two-time All-Star finished with his fifth triple-double of the season, tallying 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Wiseman, on the other hand, also put up a great effort with 18 points, five rebounds, and two dimes.

Although he got outclassed by Jokic in their first encounter, Warriors rookie James Wiseman is grateful for the opportunity to keep evolving as a player.

“I was just learning. Each quarter, I got better … and then he [later] tried to hit me with a pump fake, but I didn’t go for it.”