James Wiseman hits a career-high 30 in a big loss to the Nets

What We Learned When Wiseman Dropped 30 Career Points In Dubs Loss Originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors, proud competitors, never raised their surrender flag Wednesday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. If they had, the Nets would have smoked it.

Facing deeply unfavorable circumstances, the Warriors concluded their six-game road trip with an entirely predictable 143-113 loss to the Nets.

Playing without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State fell behind by 29 points after one quarter and never came close to creating a serious threat, as Brooklyn extended its hitting streak to seven.

James Wiseman led all scorers, with 30 career points. Moses Moody and Patrick Baldwin Jr. each finished with 17, a Baldwin career high.

Here are three observations from the finale of an East Coast road trip that leaves the Warriors (15-18) limping home three games under .500 for the first time since the 2020-21 season:

The wise man’s watch

As Wiseman has endured a yo-yo season, shuttling between Golden State and Santa Cruz, the only consistent theme has been the discussion of his future.

Should the Warriors remain patient with the 7-foot-1 center, monitoring his progress while allowing him to develop?

Or should they trade him because he’s not ready to contribute to a team that rides his veteran core?

Those in the latter camp must have loved Wiseman’s performance. His 17 points, on 7-of-7 shooting, accounted for a third of the team’s first half total. His 30 points came on 12-of-14 shooting from the field. He added six rebounds and a block, finishing down-12 in 28 minutes.

Wiseman was much more assertive than he was in a loss to the Knicks on Tuesday night. His defensive positioning, aided by Draymond Green’s direction, was more in line with what the Warriors were looking for.

Simply put, this was the most productive of Wiseman’s 16 games in the NBA this season.

The almost perfect rookie

Baldwin has played more games this season with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors than Golden State. He’s part of the rite of passage for a rookie not ready for meaningful NBA minutes.

On this night, however, Baldwin took advantage of playing time afforded due to roster depletion and put in the most impressive performance of his two months in the NBA, hitting his career-high on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 5 out of 8 over the arch.

The 6-foot-10 forward added three rebounds and went minus-3 in a season-high 23 minutes. Baldwin came off the bench and made his first six shots, including five straight 3-pointers before missing one early in the fourth quarter.

This was a glimpse of the PBJ that had coaches buzzing during training camp.

Spinning roulette

With Donte DiVincenzo (non-Covid illness) and JaMychal Green (health and safety protocols) joining Curry (left shoulder), Thompson (resting) and Wiggins (right adductor strain), head coach Steve Kerr’s rotation was in full scramble mode.

The starting lineup: Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Jonathan Kuminga, Moody and Poole. Poole and Kuminga, the two most promising goalscorers, battled mightily. Green, Looney and Kuminga combined for 12 points. Poole shot 4-of-17 from the field, while Kuminga was 1-of-9.

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On the bench: Ty Jerome, Anthony Lamb, Ryan Rollins, Baldwin and Wiseman. Jerome managed to reach double figures, with 14 points.

The result has generally been as chaotic as expected. Two frequent trouble spots mattered, as the Warriors committed 21 turnovers and Brooklyn — even with an indifferent second half — shredded the defense on 64.3 percent shooting from the field.

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