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Kerr, Warriors done looking beyond Wiseman's current reality
The Golden State Warriors have been working their way back to form in a lot of ways. After a close loss to the Dallas Mavericks, it’s back home to the familiar confines of Chase Center where they are 9-1 on the season. It’s a busy December for Golden State, but at least things are trending in the right direction - look who’s back in the playoffs:
There was a James Wiseman update yesterday that was noteworthy. A frank assessment of where he’s at - and where the team is at with him. Fittingly, it all sails past while everyone focuses on the current issues facing the rest of the team as they chase another championship on the back of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and the rest of the team’s core.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (11-11) vs. Chicago Bulls (9-12)
WHEN: Friday, December 2nd, 2022 //7pm PDT
WATCH: ESPN, NBCSBA
The time is now - there’s a new tone around the team’s biggest project player
Building a dynasty is hard, keeping it together is even harder, and recovering back to the top of the mountain after it all falls apart is hard. Just ask the Chicago Bulls. Sure there were a few different iterations of a successful basketball team, but once Michael Jordan left, they never got anywhere close to sniffing greatness again.
It’s not quite there in Golden State just yet though. Management has been planning like mad for the next phase, but it’s impossible to ignore what’s going on with the old guards and the rest of the current core. The Warriors Jordan is still here, putting up prime Jordan numbers.
Pressure has been there since before Wiseman was even picked by the team: the idea that the Warriors might be better served by another rotation player instead of a project is at odds with taking your best guess at a #2 pick a few years out from being ready.
So when the team got together yesterday for a Players Association meeting, it was the first time that Wiseman had been around since playing in Santa Cruz recently. During media availability, Kerr was asked if Wiseman would stay with the team (he’s not, will be headed for a double G League double header this weekend) and what the plans were after that (unknown).
There’s a ton of uncertainty. There always has been. Because of injuries and free agent departures, the Warriors were gifted with the number two pick - a luxury not often available to a team with the returning star power of Golden State.
Golden State has 22 games under their belt this season, just past a quarter of the regular season. Stephen Curry is turning in yet another one of those seasons that starts off with “he can’t do this all year, right?” Draymond Green is showing an aggression that has been sorely missed, Klay Thompson has proven the haters wrong and is shooting over 40% from deep once again, Andrew Wiggins has loudly emerged as one of the team’s most important players, Jordan Poole has added fancy passes and playmaking to his game…the time is now.
So though Wiseman stopped by the main office, he’s back down with the Santa Cruz team. After that? Who knows.
Trade season opens up on December 15th, or maybe the team will chose to stay the course. Wiseman’s stock is low, but he’s still an interesting player. It’s still so early in his career.
One way or another though, it sure sounds like there’s been a major tone shift within the front office of the Warriors. They are still hoping that Wiseman will develop, but they aren’t waiting around for it.
In an odd way, the two timelines approach has sort of worked. Around the old core, the team has added Wiggins (aged 27), Kevon Looney (age 26), and players like Poole (23) and Moody and Kuminga (both 20) are playing important roles. If Wiseman doesn’t work out in Golden State, it still would be one heck of a reload on the fly for the franchise that saw Kevin Durant walk away at the same time as major injuries to Thompson and Curry.
For now though, the team has pulled their focus back into the current moment. As Kerr said, the NBA has a way of working these things out.
Another team that isn’t exactly where they’d hoped to be in the standings: tonight’s opponent, the Chicago Bulls. They re-signed Zach LaVine, and then brought in Goran Dragic as injury insurance for Lonzo Ball, and reminded the league that Andre Drummond is still knocking around in the NBA.
Like the Warriors, some portions of the plan have been a resounding success. At 9-12 they aren’t anywhere close to where they want to be, but with DeMar DeRozan and LaVine running around alongside Dragic, this is a squad that should be a fun one. Oddly, their offense has struggled (bottom 10 ranking) and the defense is strong (the 10th best) according to advanced NBA stats. That’s the polar opposite of the Warriors - who seem to have misplaced their defense this year () but lifted themselves back into the middle of the pack because of their strong offensive game.
Should be a good matchup!
Almost the end of the year, and I’ve still got a few more shows to go to. This weekend, I get to see one of my oldest buddies and his side band open for the Mean Jeans. If you don’t know the Mean Jeans, you should. They are extremely fun and have a bunch of hilarious songs. Plus, it’s punk music. If you hate it don’t stress because it’s over in less than two minutes!
Also, one last bonus note here. The chat moves a little too quickly, and so does life, so I miss some of your comments. But since there’s no editor here to tell me this is not good journalism, I’m going to go ahead and answer one of our reader’s questions from a few days ago.
I’m a big cheat when it comes to tuning. I feel like I’ve got enough of an ear to get within 90% accuracy, but always struggle to find that super sweet precise tone. Instead, I have a little tuner that clips onto the guitar. It just auto-detects which string you strum and you’re off! That one linked above can flip through to tune guitars or ukuleles.
If you don’t want to buy anything, then check out the “guitar tuner” app. It has some basic games in there too, but has a multi instrument tuning function that works from your phone.
Thanks as always for reading. Go Warriors!