Rookie Center Reminds Warriors of Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo

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James Wiseman #33 of the Golden State Warriors attempts a layup against Jeff Green #8 of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Golden State Warriors notched their second win of the 2020-21 NBA season against the Detroit Pistons with a score of 116-106. While the Warriors won by ten, the game was a lot closer than what some would believe.

Within the game, there were several bright moments for the Warriors. Golden State’s star and two-time MVP Steph Curry reached, and surpassed, 2,500 three-pointers made in his career, becoming the fastest in NBA history to reach the mark.

Rising star Andrew Wiggins, tapped into the potential that Warriors fans have been waiting, and hoping, for as he recorded 27 points and 7 rebounds. The former #1 pick broke out and scored 17 points in the fourth quarter in an impressive fashion, helping to keep Golden State in the game.

Yet, it was the former #2 pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, James Wiseman, who had the most impressive play of the night showing shades of the NBA’s reigning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. Golden State’s head coach, Steve Kerr, even named it the “Giannis play”.

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Wiseman’s Comfort Level Growing

GettyJames Wiseman #33 of the Golden State Warriors high-fives teammates before the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Barclays Center.

Wiseman had been struggling during the game, collecting a few fouls early and his minutes thus fluctuated. This was unlike his previous two games as he played exceedingly well and was a bright spot for the team.

Nonetheless, this same play continued to exhibit that great things may be on the horizon for Wiseman. After the game, Kerr elaborated on Wiseman’s play, how it reminded him of Giannis Antetokounmpo, and that he’s becoming more familiar with his role.

“I also thought James had a really good stretch in the fourth where his size and presence in the paint”, Kerr said via the Warriors Soundcloud page. “For the first time really in the four games, it looked like he sort of knew where his job was — to protect the rim, not foul, use his size and his athleticism. He made a couple of big plays where we got stops and scores at the other end. And, of course, his ‘Giannis play’ was pretty impressive, too, in transition.”

“He was very disappointed about fouling out,” Kerr said. “You know, he’s just a kid and he’s just learning. It’s just amazing to watch someone that young, with so little experience at the college level, no summer league, no training camp.

“To see how poised he is, how much he wants to learn, how much he listens without feeling criticized or judged. He’s beyond his years from a maturity standpoint.”

JAMES. WISEMAN. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GZ3kLsE8pc

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 30, 2020

Wiseman’s Teammates Recognize His Ability

GettyGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and forward Draymond Green

As Wiseman’s confidence on the floor has grown so has his teammate’s recognition of it. Not many rookies can be thrust into a starting lineup and compete the way Wiseman has.

Being drafted to a team with high expectations can be a pitfall for some. Trying to find themselves and their game within what works best for the team’s success is often a challenge.

Yet Curry and star forward Draymond Green both see Wiseman’s aggression paying off and have no problem telling everyone about it.

“It did look like a Giannis-type situation,” Curry said. “It was awesome. I think he’s really starting to figure out when to be aggressive.”

“The fun part is he don’t have a f—-g clue about what he’s actually doing,” Green stated to reporters following the game.

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