How 'fearless' James Wiseman has surprised Steve Kerr through two games

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Ali Thanawalla
·3 min read
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How 'fearless' Wiseman has surprised Kerr through two games originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

When the Warriors drafted James Wiseman in November, they knew they were getting a skilled player. They just didn't know where he would be in his development since he last played a college basketball game on Nov. 12, 2019.

Wiseman was delayed in joining training camp and didn't play in any of the Warriors' three preseason games, so it would have been natural for the No. 2 overall draft pick to be slightly timid in his first few NBA games.

Incredibly, the exact opposite has happened and Wiseman arguably has been the best player on the court for the Warriors during their two blowout losses, even catching the attention of NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

"What I am surprised about, is that with so little practice time, two games in, that he's as confident as he is out there," coach Steve Kerr told reporters in Chicago on Saturday. "I thought he'd be a little deer in the headlights out there, but he is fearless. So it's not fear, it's more he's got a thirst to learn the stuff he needs to learn, so he's going out there and scoring 18, 20 points whatever it is and then coming to the bench like 'Well, what did I do wrong and what do I need to do to get better?' "

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Kerr isn't the only Warrior gushing about what Wiseman has shown and what he's capable of.

"I told y'all after Day 1 that I think he's gonna be really f-----g special," Draymond Green told reporters Saturday after practice.

In the Warriors' Christmas Day loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Green was coaching up Wiseman during stoppages in the action, and you can expect more of that once the three-time NBA All-Star returns to the court.

"The fun part is he don't have a f-----g clue about what he's actually doing," Green said Saturday. "He don't even know the basics. That is exciting because he's gonna learn those basics. But to see what he's able to do not having a clue ... is very exciting."

Wiseman's impressive performances have made a couple things clear to Kerr.

One, the 19-year-old already must be considered part of the Warriors' building blocks.

"The focal point of the future in terms of how we're building this team is with Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] and Draymond," Kerr said Saturday (H/T Wes Goldberg). "I can now throw James in there."

Two, the coaching staff likely has to redesign parts of the offense to revolve around the center.

"James Wiseman is proving to be such a huge part of our team and our future," Kerr said (H/T Wes Goldberg). "So some stuff we have to literally start over with."

RELATED: Draymond's return should fix Warriors' lab experiment

It's very clear that the Warriors are a work-in-progress. Kerr and the coaching staff have a lot of things to figure out in order to get the team back on track. It's also evident that they don't need to bring Wiseman along slowly. He has shown that he's ready for more playing time, and soon, he could be a focal point of the offense along with Curry.

Just like Curry, Thompson and Green, Wiseman's fearless trait is on full display and everyone is taking notice.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Golden State
+140+4.5O 225.5
LA Lakers
-167-4.5U 225.5