Warriors’ Youngsters Blow Up After Uneventful Main-Roster Return

James Wiseman Dubs-Wiz

Getty Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman attempts to collect a rebound during an exhibition bout with the Washington Wizards.

Former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman and rookie Ryan Rollins’ latest stay with the Golden State Warriors began and ended in a flash. Both ballers — as well as rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. — were recalled from the G League just before the Dubs’ December 7 bout with the Utah Jazz.

By Dec. 8, the three were already on their way back to Santa Cruz and the Sea Dubs, who were slated to square off with the South Bay Lakers the following night.

And while their brief jaunt to the big club left a lot to be desired — the first-years road the pine while Wiseman saw just five minutes of action — the return against the Junior Lake Show was a fruitful one for the latter baller and Rollins.

Not only in terms of their counting stats, but also the impact they had on their team and the scoreboard.

Wiseman Flips His Plus/Minus Script

James Wiseman Posts Fourth Straight Double-Double (24 PTS & 10 REB) In Win Over Lakers!The NBA G League is the NBA's official minor league. Fans can get a glimpse at the players, coaches and officials competing to ascend to the NBA's rank. With a record 47 percent of players on start-of-season NBA rosters boasting NBA G League experience when the 2022-23 season tipped off in October, the NBA G…2022-12-10T06:31:54Z

One of the biggest knocks on Wiseman dating back to his 2020-21 rookie campaign with the Warriors has been that he’s a negative-impact player on the court.

Be it due to inexperience, some kind of shortfall on the defensive end, a lack of overall feel, all of the above or something else entirely, Golden State loses ground when he’s on the floor. So far this season, the Dubs have been outscored by 76 points in his 152 minutes of action.

Against South Bay, though, he was one of the straws that stirred the drink (and in the best way possible). In 27 minutes of play, Wiseman scored 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting and added 10 boards and two steals. More importantly, Santa Cruz was plus-29 when the big man was in the game.

Rollins was similarly impactful from the backcourt. In his 33 minutes of court time, the rookie managed to log his first career triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He also hit four three-point shots, nabbed three steals and posted a team-best plus-32 in the plus/minus department.

Wiseman Working Hard to Right His Wrongs

Anyone picked in the lottery range of the NBA Draft is bound to enter the league facing high expectations. But when you’re a top-two pick and your owner is labeling you a “once-in-a-decade” talent from Jump Street, it’s a whole other level of scrutiny, which makes Wiseman’s injury-plagued journey so far especially rough for the 21-year-old.

He’s doing his best, though, to ignore the noise and keep his focus on getting better.

Asked after his G League return how he blocks out the haters, this is what Wiseman had to say, via Zena Keita: “I haven’t been on social media in two months. I’ve been reading, meditating, playing 2K.”

Meanwhile, the folks over at the Warriors Subreddit tweeted this about his efforts to improve on the court: “Spoke w [Wiseman] in postgame, he highlighted that he’s been working on not congesting the key. He said he takes notes of his mistakes in a notebook and works actively to improve on them. He approached tonight trying to clear out appropriately during drives.”

After eight G League appearances, Wiseman is averaging 16.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and one block per game. As for Rollins, the second-round pick is averaging 19.7 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals through nine games.

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