Explain One Play Mailbag #8: Wiseman’s best roles; Draymond and Wiggins on Offense

Wiseman being high endurance JaVale 2017 is more important than being Chris Bosh 2525

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This is a collection of interesting exchanges I’ve had in the Subs Only Explain One Play comments over the last couple of months. Even though some were from months ago, I think the answers stand up pretty well, given the new back-to-basic movement for Wiseman, and I still believe in them. I updated them slightly.

Wiseman as Perimeter Threat

(Feb 7) Alex writes: What are your thoughts about having Wiseman play forward on offense and center on defense? Wiseman has enough outside game to get to 4 out, could slash or get to dunker spot as play evolves or move to the low post later in a play. This could be the solution to lack of shooting in Dray lineups. Thoughts?

I think people are open to this... Before the season, I was merely hoping Wiseman could be JaVale McGee with more stamina and court sense. This whole bombing in 3s at a high rate and spin post moves is way ahead of schedule. I feel like GSW doesn’t really know what his ceiling is in the right offense. We saw them having Wiseman IN THE SPLIT not as the passer but as a potential shooter or pick and popper. He’s spotted up in the corner to space, and he’s okay passing out of the post. It’s like there’s so much to try. 

BUT…

his JaVale game (power roll game and dunker spot game, and his defense/rebounding) is behind everything else. And GSW needs that to solidify before getting too far into 22nd century offense. It would help the team way more if he could intimidate drivers, be decent on the boards, be a QB on D, and be a vertical threat to catch lobs.

Wiseman has been so cursed as far as missing so much practice time — I think he’s missed all but one or two. In the last practice (around Mar 28), Kerr finally seemed to have a chance to focus on his JaVale game. Wiseman looked way more competent in the pick and roll, he didn’t try much posting up for offense and had new aggression on the boards. Good signs?

Steph open looks? Wiggins in the Short Roll?

(Jan 7) Drizzt says: Using Curry as decoy works well when he struggles to get any offense going, but to use it all game like tonight game is going to lose more games than win. Clippers would gladly let that happen 7 days a week. Time to draw up new schemes to get Curry more open looks.

Definitely working on the open looks, but it’s tricky. You can see that in all the off-ball action for Steph, because if you put him in the PNR, LAC traps him and they fear not the 4 on 3. 

As the team gels, they should be able to beat the 4 on 3 better. Wiseman was born to work the dunker spot, Dray can run the short roll, but then you need two shooters that the D won’t leave (they will leave Oubre and maybe Wiggins too). Are they really going to leave Mulder or Damion? Maybe in time if they prove they can hit clutch shots.

I’d like to see GSW experiment with a Wiggins screen for Steph! Why not let him go to work vs a 4 on 3? With a running start the D may need 1.5 or 2 men to guard him.

I’m not certain this is a plus play, but I think AW attacks pretty well in unbalanced situations if he limits the number of long pull up 2s.

Draymond, the Master Small 5?

(Feb 5) Andre SC writes: Watching those wide open spaces in the breakdown with Draymond doing the read option QB style, a philosophical decision must be answered.

Should the Warriors goal be to start Draymond at the 5 and run all other bigs off the floor? Then bring the true C’s in to bang with the rare big who is dominating the W’s small ball lineup?

That was definitely the philosophy of the Small Ball Death Lineup, just in reverse. But if your giant is not closing, then you need to start them to keep them motivated. 

But with Wiseman... there's a lot of potential there. In fact, if his 3 is real -- and all signs point to yes even though I still don't believe it -- then he could be one of the 5-out with Dray handling the ball at the top. His 3 looks more real if he’s wide open and has time to wind up casually.

Also keep in mind there are enough great bigs out there today (Jokic, Giannis, Embiid, etc etc) that it's harder to go all small than it was in 2015 when small ball won the Dynasty’s first Finals.