The NBA preseason is officially underway as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Washington Wizards 96-87 in Japan.
James Wiseman led the Warriors with 20 points on the night, while the hometown kid Rui Hachimura led the Wizards in scoring with 13 points.
As easy as it is to get carried away with players’ performance’s throughout the preseason, each game should be taken with a grain of salt.
For instance, the Warriors starting lineup shot 6/34 from the field, which is an abysmal 17.6%. Will their starting lineup play like that for the entire season? Probably not.
Stephen Curry: 6 points, 1/7 from the field, 1/4 from three
Jordan Poole: 5 points, 1/10 from the field, 0/4 from three
Andrew Wiggins: 5 points, 1/8 from the field, 1/4 from three
Draymond Green: 4 points, 1/2 from the field, 8 rebounds
Kevon Looney: 4 points, 2/7 from the field, 7 rebounds
The starters will likely bounce back for the following game.
Game highlights: https://youtu.be/0p2OfZvNWl8
3 major takeaways
James Wiseman’s determination
On the bright side, James Wiseman dominated the Wizards.
Wiseman looked much more comfortable on both ends of the floor yesterday. In his rookie season, he hovered beyond the arc way too often, but against the Wizards, he was fighting for position and hanging around the rim instead. That is exactly what the Warriors need from him.
Wiseman didn’t attempt a three, which shows how determined he was to get to the cup. The Warriors need him to be aggressive. As nice as it would be to have a unicorn-esque big, the Warriors don’t need that. If he can hit the occasional jumper, great. The reality is, if he can replicate half of this performance consistently, he will be a great addition to the squad.
Defensively, Wiseman was pretty good. He notched a block and roamed the painted area well. There are still concerns about his defensive IQ as he accumulated three fouls in 24 minutes, which isn’t bad, but it is something to keep an eye on.
Overall, Warrior fans should be excited for a fully healthy *knocks on wood* James Wiseman. He could very well end up as the best back-up-big in the NBA by the end of the season.
Donte DiVincenzo is back!
Donte DiVincenzo had a great game for his first minutes in white and gold. He could end up being a great pickup for the Warriors by the end of the season.
DiVincenzo showed that he could act as the bench playmaker as he made some incredible passes to James Wiseman. Having an extra ball-handler off the bench will allow Jordan Poole and Stephen Curry to get more rest as they were the only playmakers last season.
He may not be the same defensive pit bull that Gary Payton II was, but offensively he offers a scoring punch that could really help elevate the Warriors overall play. He should thrive in the Warriors system this season.
As long as the Big Ragu can stay healthy, he could be the steal of free agency.
Moses Moody shows the defense
Moses Moody did not have a good game offensively, but he sure did have an impact on the defensive side.
Moody was flying all over the court against the Wizards. His ability to stay in front and disrupt players is going to be much needed for the Warriors with the departure of GP2. They will also definitely need his shot to start falling as well.
Moody’s role as a three and D player will be much needed this season. With consistent minutes, Moody could take a large leap forward. He should turn into Mr. Reliable for the Warriors off the bench.
The Warriors looked good in their first preseason game of the 2022-23 season. DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green (5 rebounds and 1 assist) look like welcome additions to the squad.
The rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins look solid. PBJ had seven points on 2/4 shooting, and Rollins had eight points on 1/6 shooting but he did go 6/6 from the charity stripe.
There is only so much that can be taken from the preseason, but a win is a good way to start it off.
The Warriors will finish their Japan trip tonight at 10 p.m. against the Wizards on NBA TV at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.