The Golden State Warriors could be without center James Wiseman for the rest of the season, but the loss of their dynamic rookie could be a blessing in disguise both for the team and the 20-year-old, a physician says.
Wiseman was hurt during a dunk attempt in Saturday’s win over the Houston Rockets. The initial assessment was that he had torn a meniscus in his right knee and could be out for season, an injury that comes after the team had committed to keeping Wiseman in the starting lineup for the rest of the year to push his development. One doctor says that the time away from the court could actually be beneficial both for Wiseman and the Warriors, however.
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Wiseman’s Injury Gives Warriors Opportunity
While the injury could deprive the Warriors of their starting center and rob Wiseman of critical time to develop during a season with lower expectations for Golden State, one medical expert believes it could give him the chance to come back stronger. Speaking to Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News, Dr. Steven Yoon said the team now has the chance to learn the underlying cause of his injury and correct it for the future.
“You want to take a couple of steps backwards and try to understand his biomechanics better,” said Yoon, who works at The Regenerative Sports and Joint Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. “You want to try to understand his strength and try to improve all those things.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 11, 2021
Yoon noted that the Warriors will be able to study how Wiseman runs, jumps, lands, and moves laterally on the court, giving him the opportunity to better adjust to life in the NBA. The 20-year-old missed training camp this year after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving his developmental time to take place on the court. As Yoon said, Wiseman will have the chance to make adjustments that may prevent future injuries.
“A lot of these young guys coming out of college, they’re very gifted and very athletic and talented, but they don’t necessarily have the strength or the biomechanics to withstand an entire NBA season,” he said.
Warriors Committed to Wiseman
The Warriors have already invested quite a bit in their rookie center, using the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to snag him and reportedly turning down trade offers for him at the deadline. After bouncing in and out of the starting lineup throughout the season, Wiseman got the thumbs-up from head coach Steve Kerr after the All-Star break. With the Warriors at 22-22 and hovering on the edge of the playoff race, Kerr said that Wiseman would go into the starting lineup for the rest of the season and had some encouraging words about his development.
James Wiseman has left the floor after taking this hard fall pic.twitter.com/Xfcj51dbI2
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 11, 2021
“We just feel like after [43 games], James has come along really well,” Kerr said, via SB Nation’s Golden State of Mind. “He’s picked up a lot of the concepts. It’s really important now, especially given the absences — missing the 10, 11 games with the wrist, the last three games with COVID protocol — he needs to be out there.”