Golden State Warriors’ rookie James Wiseman has had his share of moments so far this season that might be considered his true welcoming to the NBA, but nothing has compared to having to guard arguably one of the best centers in the league on Thursday night. In a 114-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the rookie went head-to-head with Nikola Jokic, and the Warriors’ newbie was certainly shown a lot in that one game.
Wiseman Gives His Take On Defended Jokic
After quite a few games so far this season against some seasoned big men, Wiseman has truly been learning some lessons about being in the NBA. In a press conference after the Warriors matchup against the Nuggets on Thursday, the rookie shared what he has learned so far this season.
“Man, he got, like, a lot of tricks,” Warriors big man James Wiseman said in a postgame video conference per the Warriors’ SoundCloud.
“So I just had to make sure I just stayed attentive like every second that I was guarding him. I knew I was supposed to get an arm bar on him, but he got me on the spin move with the and-1.”
James Wiseman was surely shown a thing or two by the Joker in the Warriors’ matchup against the Nuggets. One moment in particular stuck out in the second quarter that Wiseman will probably not forget anytime soon. Jokic sized up Wiseman, spun out to the baseline, and dunked over Wiseman’s head.
Using This As a Learning Moment
Jokic finished the game with yet another triple-double this season, finishing with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Wiseman was able to put up 18 points in the game. Jokic leads the franchise in triple-doubles with 45 of them, at age 25. He’s known for making anyone he goes up against look quite average, but this was only Wiseman’s 15th game since high school.
Although he was shown up by the Joker in this specific matchup, Wiseman touched on how this and all of the other games are a learning opportunity for him in his first year in the league.
“I was just learning, Wiseman said in the same interview. Each quarter, I got better … and then he [later] tried to hit me with a pump fake, but I didn’t go for it.”
Of course, now, this is easy to say now but for his first year in the league, it might be difficult to play perfectly just yet. Wiseman has had his share of tough matchups like Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors and even Serge Ibaka of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Every game this season will be a learning experience for the rookie. Despite the loss, Wiseman should emerge from not just this game, but every game as a better and more experienced player. The Joker is a force to be reckoned with and Wiseman should be applauded for hanging in there.