Steve Kerr still a James Wiseman believer after 'tough couple games'

Kerr still a believer in Wiseman after 'tough couple games' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows that for a young player like James Wiseman, there isn’t an instant solution when it comes to development.

It’s a process, and one the 21-year-old really has just begun with only 48 NBA games under his belt following Thursday’s 130-129 loss to the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.

So even though Wiseman and the Warriors are off to a slow start this season, Kerr certainly hasn’t given up on the former No. 2 overall pick.

“I think it’s been a tough couple games for James, but I’m a believer,” Kerr told reporters after Thursday’s game. “I love his talent, his attitude, but there’s no shortcut for all this. You’ve got to go through your lumps as an extremely young player with little-to-no experience.

“It takes time.”

Wiseman started the season strong, playing at least 16 minutes in each of the Warriors’ first four games. Since then, however, the young center has averaged 10.2 minutes a night.

In 10 minutes Thursday, Wiseman scored two points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field, dished one assist and grabbed three boards. Overall, he’s averaging 7.6 points on 69.6 percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.4 blocks per game.

Wiseman’s struggles on defense have been a point of conversation so far this season though his defensive rating (116.3) isn't the worst on the Warriors.

However, the team is struggling on that end of the floor as a whole, currently saddled with the sixth-worst defensive rating (116.8) in the NBA.

And with 23 fouls to his name so far, Wiseman has accounted for 10.5 percent of the Warriors’ league-leading 217 personal fouls this season.

But sitting at 3-6 in 12th place in the Western Conference and third in the Pacific Division, there’s no need for the Warriors to hit the panic button -- yet.

That said, Kerr noted that some rotation changes are on the way following his team's loss to the Magic.

How big of a role the team’s youngsters -- Wiseman, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga -- will play moving forward is yet to be seen.

“We’re looking at James and JK and Moses in a big-picture way,” Kerr said. “So, you don’t get these guys who basically play three college games, in James’ case, or 12 G League games in JK’s case, it doesn’t happen overnight.

“The development plan is something that we’re looking at comprehensively, every day. These guys are working. There’s going to be times where they’re in the rotation, there’s going to be times they’re not. The season will dictate all that.”

RELATED: NBA scouts skeptical of Warriors youngsters JK, Wiseman

After injuries and the coronavirus-shortened season held Wiseman back since being drafted in 2020, it’s clear Kerr knows the 7-footer’s abilities and mindset are there.

And putting those things together on the court will take time.

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