How James Wiseman, Young Warriors Passed an Extended Test vs. Knicks, Nets


NEW YORK – In the final seven minutes and 40 seconds of a program Warriors loss 132-94 38 points To the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, Golden State’s youth were offered part of their two-schedule plan.


When the Warriors were blown up, Coach Steve Kerr went with a five-man group of very young, recently recruited players. The lineup consisted of Ryan Rollins (20), Moses Moody (20), Jonathan Cuminga (20), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (20) and James Wiseman (21). They were -13 in plus/minus, and passed 19-6. What was evident was his inexperience and lack of chemistry.

During that roughly eight-minute period, the Warriors missed all five of their 2-point shots and were 2-for-6 on three-pointers. They held the Knicks to just 2-for-6 from deep as well, but Knicks only missed one of their five throws. While the Warriors had a shot quality ratio of 48.2, the Knicks were getting an easy appearance with a shot quality ratio of 60.9, per PBP stat.

“Look, these guys work their butts off every single day in practice,” Kerr said after the Warriors’ loss to the Knicks. “We all want them to be successful, so it’s hard to see when things aren’t going well. At the same time, we have to keep our energy and spirit up. But look, it’s not easy being in a position.

“They are all so primitive, so young that they are not yet ready to figure out how to get the other picks. It is a difficult situation for them to be in and I just ask them to keep working and remind them that things will get better.”

With Steve Curry and Andrew Wiggins are already outIn addition to Donte DiVincenzo missing the game due to a non-COVID illness and JaMychal Green being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the young Warriors had the opportunity to advance. Moody was handed the start, along with Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. Of all the youngsters, Moody may have had the best with 11 points, going 4-for-9 from the field and 3-for-6 on three-pointers.

Cuminga led the bench with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting with four rebounds and four assists, but also had three turnovers and three errors, resulting in a minus 21. Baldwin was cold, making only one of his six shots and was a minus 11. Rollins only played seven minutes, but was minus 13 after turning the ball over twice and missing his shots. Wiseman was the worst of the game – 29 in 22 minutes, scoring four points on five errors and two turnovers.

Veteran player Kevon Looney has tried to take some of the load off the younger players, noting that the rookies haven’t quite made it light. Looney also noted how difficult it was to get into the game in the fourth quarter after sitting around for so long and pressing to make a solid impression. When he was young, he was surrounded by four vets, not players who weren’t old enough to legally drink.

What Looney also pointed out was how difficult it was to play in a storied arena like Madison Square Garden for the first time or at such a young age.

“The first time I played at The Garden, I remember how it felt to play here,” Looney said. “I was a little nervous. I can only expect these guys to feel the same way. They could play better, but I feel they are taking steps in the right direction and playing well at Santa Cruz.

“Getting some experience of the game is good for them. It’s hard to be thrown into a fire like this at the end of a journey. We expect a lot from them and I think they’ll play better when the number is called. It’s a learning experience for all of us.”

Paul, 23, still remembers the first time he played on the Knicks’ home circuit. It was a Big Ten Championship when he played at Michigan and the Wolverines ended up winning the championship. He had some jitters too, regardless of the better outcome.

For him, Wednesday was a “wonderful moment” for these five players. Walking on the floor of The Garden is a dream for countless kids, and they can check it off their bucket list.

He’s been in their place before. The pressure to make an impression is normal. When given an opportunity, it is all about making the most of it one way or another.

“Personally, my approach was just to get to it,” Paul said when asked about his mindset as a rookie. “Practice hard, train hard. Whether you get two minutes in the game or you get 20 minutes in the game, just try personally and take the chance. Have the coaches play you. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to get minutes where they can’t get you off the ground.”

“There’s a challenge in everything you do, and it’s a credit to the guys who get out there, gain some experience, get a few minutes under their belts, and hit the ground running.”

Fortunately for these young men, there was another chance to show their worth 24 hours later.

The Warriors made a short trip to Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, looking to turn the page. With six players out, including Klay Thompson joining Curry and Wiggins as the rookies stuck to the bench, the Cards were stacked against the Warriors and they were unable to defy the odds. The first half is historically bad It resulted in a 143-113 loss to the Nets-Ending Road Trip 1-5 for the Warriors.

Cumminga was included in the starting line-up along with Moody, Paul, Green and Looney. However, he only scored four points in 30 minutes, going 1-for-9 off the floor and making four turnovers. Moody led first with 17 points, 7-for-11 overall and 3-for-5 outside the bracket.

Rollins was the only Warrior with a plus/minus of a 30-point loss, finishing with a plus-2 over six minutes. He made his solo shot, as well as his free throws and had three assists. The stars of the night, though, were Wiseman and Baldwin Jr.

“Second half, I thought the guys were a lot better than they were the night before against New York,” Kerr said Wednesday night at the Barclays Center. “It was nice to see them get out there and run and hit some shots. Patrick Baldwin got really hot and obviously James was efficient. … That was encouraging, but when you lose at 30, there’s little consolation.”

A wise man He finished his first game with 30 points In the NBA, scoring 30 points and going 12-for-14 from the field. He made his first eight shots, including his 3-point attempt, and finished with six rebounds. The former #2 pick was aggressive, throwing several big putts and his first snap of the night was a nice left-handed finish on Kevin Durant.

Baldwin Jr. caught fire for the Warriors late in the third and fourth quarters. The rookie made his first six shots and sprayed his first five three-pointers. On the night, he scored a career-high 17 points, the first time he’d scored in double figures in the NBA.

Although the numbers are good, Baldwin Jr. explained that the effect pales in such a loss by blowout. But a newfound sense of comfort on the court and with each other was evident, especially after the grueling performance the night before.

Related: Wiseman’s big night lights up the Warriors’ unknown future

“I think we’re on that trajectory where we learn to define the league,” said Baldwin Jr. “It’s upsetting that we’re losing, but it’s important that we learn through it all.”

Finding the positives from the Warriors’ recent tough road trip isn’t easy. They are what their 15-18 record would suggest, although parts may be a bit of a mirage with the absence of Cary Wiggins.

In search of goodness, the improvements of the young men for a day were evident, especially from Wiseman and Baldwin. If they can build, that will be decided, starting with a Christmas Day showdown against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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