Golden State Warriors: 3 things to watch for in the second half

James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

1. How does James Wiseman develop for the Golden State Warriors?

The Golden State Warriors were, by all accounts, locked into James Wiseman from early in the process. They did their due diligence, of course, but he was their top guy throughout and he ended atop their board. It wasn’t consensus – some in the organization advocated for LaMelo Ball – but the organization was glad he was there to pick at 2.

There have been a lot of positives through the first 26 games of his career. He is a fearsome athlete, able to explode from the 3-point line to the rim with just one dribble. His elevation on blocks and dunks is everything you could want in a rim-running center. He has even hit 37 percent of his limited 3-point attempts.

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Yet there are massive areas of growth needed as well. He bobbles the ball on passes and rebounds more than any major rotation player in the league. He struggles to finish inside at times. Defensively it’s a coin flip as to whether he will be in the right position. He fouls like his salary depends on it.

The Warriors need Wiseman to be a difference-maker to win the title next season, whether because he’s throwing down dunks for a spaced-out Warriors offense or because he was the centerpiece of a package for a star. That means that the 19-year-old who only played three games of college basketball will need more reps.

That probably means starting coming out of the break. It also means playing at the start of the second and fourth quarters in a new-look bench group, replacing the minutes of Eric Paschall, who has struggled in that role since an early hot streak.

How does Wiseman play alongside Draymond Green and Stephen Curry? How does he play without them, and lesser creators in the game to create offense? Can he begin to process the game faster and know where to be? And can the Warriors get away with superglue on his hands?

Wiseman will get plenty of run down the stretch. How he grows will be a major factor in how the Warriors do this season and, probably more importantly, beyond.