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James Wiseman’s Chase Center observations return with Santa Cruz Warriors

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The takeaways from Wiseman’s return to Chase Center with Sea Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — James Wiseman’s second and likely final NBA G League game with the Santa Cruz Warriors didn’t start the way he or anyone else expected. His first two plays Sunday at the Chase Center resulted in basket interference and an offensive foul when he was called for a charge.

Breathe, it got better from there for the Warriors’ former No. 2 overall draft pick.

Wiseman played 20 minutes in a 110-107 overtime win against G League Ignite. He scored 19 points, one more than in his G League debut, and was 8-of-17 from the field.

Here are three takeaways from Wiseman’s second game in the G League, with his return to Golden State just around the corner.

the offense

Wiseman showed off a soft hit on his final shot attempt in his first game Thursday night as he scored 18 points at Stockton. He also made both of his free throw attempts. That wasn’t there from the start for Wiseman, and an early jump shot rolled off the top of the basket.

Where Wiseman stood out was his physicality.

He told the media Thursday night that he had gained 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, and honestly, it seems even more. Wiseman had no trouble getting into position in the paint and threw a handful of dunks.

The 7-footer seemed like a giant among G League players looking to make a name for themselves.

The big man grabbed five offensive rebounds in the first half, a stat that should stand out for Steve Kerr. Areas of him that need improvement were also highlighted. Wiseman still needs some serious work on his hands, he has five turnovers, his jump shot missed early on and he missed his first three free throw attempts before going 1-for-4 from the line.

Hitting an open 3 when the Ignite invited him to do it in the fourth quarter doesn’t hurt, though.

The defense

As active as Wiseman was on the offensive glass, the same can be said on the other end of the floor. By halftime, he had grabbed seven defensive rebounds, giving him a double-double for the first time since April 6 of last year.

The most rebounds Wiseman finished with in a game as a rookie was 11. He had 12 by halftime and finished with 14, five on offense and nine on defense. Wiseman also recorded his first block since he returned to the court and had two shots on the day.

Wiseman in the first half committed a bad foul, leaving his feet and twice he was invisible, allowing the opposing offense to get to the basket without any problem. That will certainly be discussed when reviewing the film.

He also showed that his size alone can be a factor for Golden State, and he was much better at staying upright after halftime.

Health

At this point, health appears to be the least of Wiseman’s concerns more than 11 months after initially injuring his right meniscus. He’s running very well up and down the court, he’s exploding for dunks and he’s not gasping for air as the game goes on.

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According to the eye exam, his health doesn’t stop him. That’s for Rick Celebrini and the rest of the Warriors’ coaching staff to decide.

Kerr used the word “soon” when discussing Wiseman’s return to the NBA on Saturday night. That could be as early as Monday, a reality the 20-year-old is eager to make a reality.

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