There’s no secret that aiming to defend your crown as NBA champion, means seeking to add layers and development to an already sound system. That’s twofold for the Golden State Warriors who actually possess the young talent to be able to do so.
It’s been a hellish last week for the Warriors, bound to the headlines for all the wrong reasons. On Sunday they returned to the floor, even if the Draymond Green shadow hovered over Chase Center in an unnerving fashion.
The Warriors lost an entertaining battle to the Los Angeles Lakers 124-121, but it was the unfurling of a certain duo that’s sure to have Warrior fans excited.
Jordan Poole and James Wiseman’s two-man game could prove a major weapon for the Golden State Warriors, and one that blows opposition second units apart.
The Poole-Wiseman pick-and-roll could be the envy of the league, particularly when you’re factoring them as genuine bench pieces for the Warriors this season. The Warriors hope it resembles the Curry-Green combination for the next ten years, but for now, it could easily develop into the most potent bench pairing in the league.
Kerr’s use of Wiseman has to be praised so far in preseason — he’s putting the former number two overall pick in a position to succeed, without the requirement of fitting into the Warriors’ traditional offensive system.
Golden State ran the least amount of pick-and-rolls in the league last season; a fact that frustrated many given the efficiency of Poole and Curry in such plays. During preseason, the Warriors seem to be making a concerted effort of running primary pick-and-roll action whenever Wiseman is on the floor.
There’s plenty of reason to be excited — Poole’s off-the-dribble shot creation and playmaking are exceptional, and as seen in the first play above, slight separation from a Wiseman pick can be enough to prove devastating.
Just as importantly, the play utilizes Wiseman’s best attributes at this stage of his career; the raw athleticism and size that when harnessed correctly, provides Golden State with a weapon they’ve never had. His lack of IQ and game feel were exposed at times in his rookie season, but we’re now seeing the effect he can have in the simplified role many have asked for.
It wasn’t just Poole as the ball-handler either, with Donte DiVincenzo also pairing with Wiseman at times this preseason. Kerr’s urgency to get Wiseman involved in almost every offensive play is telling and could lead to huge per 36 min stats for the young big man.
Wiseman is averaging nearly 14 points in 20 minutes across the three preseason games, producing solid outputs in two of his three games. The duo of he and Poole is likely to be a negative on defense, but how much are opposition second units really going to punish that?
The Warriors are in a strange position where their most exciting pairing may be coming off the bench, but that’s simply another feather in the cap for Bob Myers and the front office for the way they’ve built this roster.