Opportunity is everything for young NBA players. For James Wiseman, he has found his rhythm as the newest member of the Detroit Pistons. Of course, the team has no playoff hopes at this point in the season. However, Wiseman has taken the opportunity for redemption after struggling to find his footing in his first few years in the NBA.
It’s safe to say that the experience in Golden State didn’t work out for Wiseman. While players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are still focal points in the Warriors’ offense, there wasn’t room for Wiseman to display his true potential. Plus, Steve Kerr and the rest of the coaching staff were relying on Wiseman to be something that he’s not during his experience as well. Looking at the situation, it may have been a bittersweet experience for James Wiseman with the Warriors. However, sharing the locker room with a dynasty is something that I’m sure he’s appreciative of.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey has made it a priority for Wiseman to be involved in the offense. Wiseman has been able to receive a pass in the post and establish himself on the block. So far, he’s been a focal point in their offense. With Wiseman’s versatility on offense, he’s been effective around the mid-range while using his length and athleticism to make his way to the basket. Let’s also not forget to mention he’s been effective in the pick and roll as well. Wiseman is making the most of his possessions on offense. The beauty of his play is that he isn’t settling for ill-advised shots which allows his team to place more trust in him.
As for me, I had my concerns regarding Wiseman with the Detroit Pistons. As an analyst who is a big fan of his play, I wondered how the Pistons’ coaching staff was going to spread minutes with Wiseman, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, and other frontcourt players. However, the fit has worked out well so far. Plus, as Stewart is currently rehabbing an injury, it has allowed Wiseman to be inserted into the starting lineup for the time being.
In Wiseman’s debut for the Boston Celtics, he scored 11 points on 5/9 shooting. The numbers aren’t amazing but the big man was getting his feet wet. Wiseman did a terrific job of providing energy in the second unit. Early in his first contest, Wiseman showed the confidence to take perimeter shots, which was something he was limited to do in Golden State. The coaching staff continues to allow him to have supreme confidence. A few weeks later, Wiseman had a breakout performance with 23 points and 7 rebounds against the Charlotte Hornets.
As Wiseman’s opportunities continued to increase, the better he continued to produce. After his big scoring performance against Charlotte, he would score in double-digits in eight of the next 10 games. In his 14 games with Detroit, Wiseman is averaging 13.8 points along with 9.3 rebounds on 56 percent shooting. It’s beautiful how opportunity can make or break a player. Despite the Pistons’ losing record, the production that James Wiseman has brought to the team has been terrific. The goal is to continue the momentum as he is re-establishing himself as one of the best rising centers in the NBA.