Warriors’ James Wiseman out at least a week with a sprained left wrist

Peninsula Premier Admin

James Wiseman suffered a sprained left wrist in Saturday night’s win over the Detroit Pistons, the Warriors announced Monday.

The second-overall pick in November’s draft will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days, according to the team, which will sideline him for up to five games. It’s a significant hit to the Warriors depth, as they have only one healthy center on the roster.

“Glad it’s just a short-term thing,” said Kevon Looney, Golden State’s starting center, “but it’s going to be tough, not having that many [healthy] centers already on the team.”

The injury occurred in the third quarter of Saturday night’s win, when Wiseman fell awkwardly on his left wrist after getting bumped by Pistons’ rookie center Isaiah Stewart while going up for an alley-oop. Wiseman was shaken up but continued to play in the game. An MRI on Sunday revealed the wrist was sprained.

In 20 games, Wiseman averaged 12.2 points on 50% shooting, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 21 minutes per game.

After starting at center the first 16 games, Wiseman backed up Looney in the last four. Though he started on opening night despite missing training camp and preseason after recording a positive coronavirus test, the 19-year-old was benched after struggling in back-to-back losses to the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz late last month.

Nevertheless, Wiseman played well off the bench, averaging 13.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. In last Wednesday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, he had 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes.

“There’s a whole lot of tape to watch every single night on these games, and obviously we go over them pretty carefully,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “The great thing with James is, every night after the game you see clips of him doing something that he didn’t do the week before. So he’s picking things up very quickly.”

But without Wiseman, Looney and Eric Paschall will get the lion’s share of minutes at center. Looney, a reliable defender, rebounder and communicator, will continue to start while Paschall, a second-year forward, will anchor the small-ball unit that starts second and fourth quarters. Golden State’s other center, Marquese Chriss, is out for a significant amount of time after suffering a broken leg during a scrimmage on Dec. 26.

Although he hasn’t seen much time as a small-ball center this season, Draymond Green may also see minutes at the position. Two-way contract forward Juan Toscano-Anderson will be active and get minutes in the front court rotation, according to Kerr.

“We’ll mix and match and figure out what we’re going to do,” Kerr said.

Golden State’s next game is Tuesday against the Boston Celtics at Chase Center before the team travels to Texas for a four-game trip. It’s not yet been decided if Wiseman, 19, will accompany the team.

“It’s a concern anytime you lose anybody for any stretch of time and especially if it is in the rotation, but we’ll figure it out,” said Stephen Curry. “Injuries are obviously a part of every season. No matter when they come, you just have to be able to adjust. … So it’s all hands on deck.”

Contributed by local news sources

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