Kerr, Warriors encouraged by progress Wiseman is making originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
One of the few bright spots in the Warriors’ 143-113 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday at the Barclays Center was James Wiseman’s 30-point performance.
Despite the accomplishment, he was a confidence-builder for the 21-year-old, whom the Warriors recalled Dec. 15 after 10 games in the NBA G League, where Wiseman averaged 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting 68% from the field.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke with “Damon & Ratto” about 95.7 The Game on Thursday and noted that he sees a lot of positive signs from Wiseman following his performance against the Nets.
“I think the important thing is that we’re just looking at James’ development, and we’ve been wanting to watch him in Santa Cruz, see him grow, see his progress defensively, we feel like he’s made tremendous strides,” Kerr said. “And so it’s great for him to get a few meaningful minutes and be able to let loose and build confidence. With a 30-point third night, we know he’s perfectly capable of scoring.
“So we know he has that ability. But just the way the year went where he didn’t have much playing time, I thought he was a great [game against Brooklyn] for him to feel really good about his progress. And this is just another step in the journey for James.”
While the offensive production in Brooklyn remained and it’s a performance Wiseman can build on, Kerr also said he’s seen the Warriors’ long man make strides on the defensive end of the ball that he’s spotted on the recent road trip.
“I think we saw evidence periodically throughout the trip,” Kerr said. “I thought about his defensive minutes against Philadelphia [76ers] they were really good. I know he only played seven, eight minutes, but he did a great job playing cat and mouse against pick and roll, which is what you want your big name to do.
“That’s what Draymond [Green] it does so well, which means, you know, you have to protect the ball carrier coming down towards you and the roll man coming towards the edge, and you have to keep the ball carrier guessing. And he’s done a really good job of being in the right position and making sure he’s calling the right covers. So there have been leaps and bounds, for sure.”
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Wiseman will look to continue to impress Kerr as he champions his case to stay with Golden State and not return to the G League when the Warriors take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Christmas Day at the Chase Center.
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