Golden State Warriors rookie center James Wiseman impressed in his NBA debut but Warriors star guard Stephen Curry and head coach Steve Kerr weren't particularly surprised since they saw him doing those exact things in scrimmages.
Wiseman, who was taken at No. 2 in this past NBA draft, lived up to the hype in his first game for the game as he scored 19 points and had six rebounds. Curry scored a team-high 20 points but his and Wiseman's effort wasn't enough as the Warriors lost easily to the Brooklyn Nets 125-99.
"I wasn't shocked to see that," Curry said of Wiseman's performance, per ESPN. "He showed that in practice and in our scrimmages. Very confident in what he can do, so it was good to see him just get his feet wet, get some reps in, and obviously in the fourth quarter he showed a little bit of his skill set, what he can do inside and out, so just getting him hopefully as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible.
Twenty-four good minutes to start his career is a big step for him individually."
Wiseman a bright spot in the Warriors' blowout loss
"He played really well," Warriors head coach Kerr said of Wiseman.
"He looked great out there. I would have preferred a game where we actually were in the game and playing at a competitive level, but obviously we got crushed tonight. But James showed exactly why we're very excited about him.
He's a really talented guy and he's smart and hardworking and he wants to do well and fit in with his teammates, so he's got a bright future." The Warriors, who made five consecutive NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, missed the playoffs last year.
They are hoping to return to the postseason this season and they are hoping to get an immediate contribution from Wiseman. "He went out and got 19 points in his first NBA game in 24 minutes," Kerr said. "He is so raw, so there's so far to go, in terms of calling out defensive coverages.
The game's slowing down for him ... and that's what's so exciting. He's a really smart young man. He's got a tremendous work ethic and he hasn't even scratched the surface, so that's what I think is really exciting and to think about where he'll be a few months from now -- and beyond that a couple years from now -- he's got a chance to be a great player in this league, so it's very exciting."