Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had jokes for reporters Tuesday night in light of their incessant question regarding the growth of rookie center James Wiseman.
Kerr mused he forgot his press conferences required an obligatory “James Wiseman report card” following the Dubs’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. He proceeded to assess Wiseman’s individual performance, humorously giving him a high grade:
“I thought he was great,” Kerr said, via Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He really played with energy. He sprinted into ball screens, he really dove hard to the rim to put pressure on the defense and rebounded well. So, he gets an ‘A’ on the James Wiseman report card from his coach.
“Let’s make sure we all talk about this tomorrow and re-do the report card tomorrow, and the following day as well.”
Wiseman has been through plenty of highs and lows in his first NBA season with the Warriors.
The No. 2 overall pick missed over two weeks in February. Wiseman was benched in March for missing his first two scheduled tests for COVID-19 after the All-Star break. Kerr has also been a bit judicious with his playing time.
However, Wiseman has also shown plenty of upside. He had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday against the Bucks. It was his best single Game Score, per Basketball Reference, since the end of January.
Kerr alluded to Wiseman’s tremendous athleticism playing a role on both ends of the floor. He can be an explosive rim-runner capable of scoring around the cup or facing up and knocking down jumpers. He also has the agility and length to rotate as a help defender or provide hard hedges in pick-and-roll.
The Warriors remain high on their young center. Kerr and Draymond Green are among those who have effusively praised his talent. But the former Memphis product is also just 20 years old. As Kerr seems to suggest, he is still getting a feel for the NBA game.