James Wiseman, Warriors enjoy their much-anticipated NBA Summer League debut

LAS VEGAS – Somehow, Warriors coach Jama Mahalila was making sure to throw a dunk Sunday night to open the Thomas & Mac Center’s Las Vegas summer game against the San Antonio Spurs.

One option was Jonathan Kominga’s two-point exit, the other was James Wiseman on his summer league debut. It ended up being a reality thriller with Wiseman ending Alley Edges from Kuminga in what would be the start of a successful comeback for the 21-year-old Warriors center.

“I’m glad he was wise,” said a smiling analyst when asked about the opening points for the Warriors’ massive 86-85 win.

Wiseman has played just under 20 minutes in his first game, apart from three G League competitions this year, from the conclusion of his junior season in April 2021 to a tear in his right meniscus. He missed the Warriors’ entire last season due to complications from the surgery and was counting the days for this very moment. The Warriors played Wiseman at four minutes to start each quarter, but then brought him back to the last 3:52 of the match.

At this point, Golden State fell behind 79-74. Thirty seconds later, Wiseman caught a pass in traffic from Kuminga and finished his second dunk of the night to reduce the deficit. The Warriors edged out Tottenham by 12-6 as Weizmann returned to the ground, to claim his first win on the summer roster.

Sunday did not just mark Weizmann’s comeback and debut in the summer league after being unable to participate in the past two years. It was also the first time he and Komenga, 19, played together, to give everyone a glimpse into the bright future of the current champions.

“It makes all our tasks easier,” Kominga, who scored 26 points, including a tie-bucket and game-winning free throw, said of Wiseman. “A lot easier…just make him roll that way, the paint will open. If I don’t get the ball, he’ll get the ball. I feel like all season long, we might be doing it a lot like that with [Steph Curry].

“The floor will open more.”

All in all, Wiseman scored 11 points while he was 5 to 7 from the field. He only made his 3-point attempt, hitting the house with two pieces and hitting two jumpers – one of which was a smooth fade. Wiseman was also called up for seven fouls, some of which were more subtle than others, and only got two bounces. Immediately after the match, he hit Mahlalela on the shoulder and said he should get more rebounds next time.

But this is all part of the process. Weizmann is no longer holding back. It is in a real game environment competing against other opponents, rather than in individual trainings or playing with teammates in controlled brawls. Getting him to the ground is a win in itself, and the flashes of his enormous potential were more impactful than any of his mistakes.

The Warriors know Wiseman can score in multiple ways, and their goal in this off-season is to slowly but surely turn the previous record. 2 Choose in a defensive machine. There were times when he was a force in this aspect, especially with two early blocks. The first came at the edge, the second was further away in an outward attempt to shoot.

This was his favourite.

“Yeah, that was nice,” Wiseman said.

After a win that put the fans on their feet, Wiseman’s coaches and teams gave him a standing ovation on his return to the locker room. Those who have been around him through it all know how difficult this journey has been, and those new to warriors are not new to his story.

For all the great odds that are in Las Vegas now, Wiseman’s return was close to the top of expectations.

Show the reason as well.

“It was a great moment,” he said. “I’ve been through a lot of hard times, especially as a person and as a human being. But to see everyone encourage and lift me up, it’s such a wonderful feeling.”

The cherry on top came from a text. Keen to make his way to Sin City to watch Wiseman, Steve Kerr had a front-row vision for the player being a major part of the Warriors’ future.

Kerr was not disappointed.

“He texted me saying great job there and said, ‘You look really good.'”

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When Wiseman sat on the bench during the second quarter, Wiseman closed his eyes to head coach Rick Celebrini and indicated he could play more. The enthusiastic center has waited a long time.

He also understands that his first comeback in the match is only part of a larger and more important process. Warriors know what kind of talent they have in Wiseman. It is not easy to keep a stallion in the stable.

It’s also worth it if it all comes together.

“Yeah, I felt like I could play more,” Wiseman said. “…I had five minutes every quarter, so I was trying to get as much as I could. And when the bounces didn’t come my way, I was pissed off but I was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to run across the floor and do whatever I can.'” “

The plan is for Leisman, Cominga and Moses Moody, who scored 34 points through three quarters on Friday night but sat down Sunday to rest and stomach trouble, to play together on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.

When asked if it would be good to go, Wiseman gave us all a look as we should tag her in the Sharpie.

“Yes, I’ll play Tuesday,” Wiseman said. “surely.”

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