James Wiseman began his G League assignment on Saturday night after being sent down earlier this week due to a disappointing start to his NBA season.
At the very least, Wiseman was expected to be a key contributor on the second unit for the Warriors this season, but became unplayable after just 15 games. Wiseman fell out of the rotation in the last week or so, due primarily to Golden State getting boat raced whenever he was on the floor. In his 147 minutes so far this season, the Warriors have been outscored by 73 points.
Of course a team’s second unit will (almost) always have a worse plus/minus than the starters, but the number has to be within reason. Wiseman’s has not been. Among players who have played at least 100 minutes this season, Wiseman’s plus/minus per minute is the worst in the NBA.
There were a lot of positives from Wiseman’s debut with Santa Cruz on Saturday. He scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in just 26 minutes. He was 7-for-12 from the field, and 1-for-2 from 3-point range. The issues he’s had with the Warriors so far this season persisted, however. The Sea Dubs were minus-13 with Wiseman on the floor, the worst of the Santa Cruz starters. He also committed five fouls, averaging nearly a foul every five minutes.
Wiseman is extremely skilled, and it was nice to see him flash some of those on Sunday. But Wiseman’s talent is rendered moot if his teams get consistently outscored with him on the floor. Defense is really the key for Wiseman, who hasn’t been able to anchor the middle due to his fouling, lack of rebounding and inability to protect the rim.
Wiseman’s stat line is a good sign and a good start for his G League assignment that will last at least 10 days according to Steve Kerr. If he can’t improve the plus/minus numbers, however, the assignment could last quite a bit longer.
Here are some highlights from Saturday via NBC Sports Bay Area: