Second-round pick Nico Mannion isn’t discouraged by the slow start to his NBA career, writes Alex Espinoza of NBC Sports Bay Area. After the Warriors took him with the 48th selection, Mannion signed a two-way contract that allows him to appear in 50 NBA games this season. He hasn’t played yet or even suited up to be on the active roster, but Mannion believes his time is coming.
“I can see myself out there on the floor,” he said. “I think I fit that style, just the quick decision-making.”
Mannion will have to earn playing time on a team that currently has five guards getting regular rotation minutes. He said he’s been making improvements in practice and is determined to be prepared when his opportunity arrives.
“They just told me to be ready,” Mannion said of the coaching staff. “If someone goes down, I’ll be there. Just trying to adjust and learn as much as I can right now. Trying to see it as a glass half full right now that I get some more time to prepare. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Stephen Curry is adjusting to defenses focused primarily on stopping him now that he’s not surrounded by All-Star teammates, observes Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Teams are using variations of the box-and-one strategy that Toronto’s Nick Nurse employed during the 2019 NBA Finals. Part of the reason those defenses have been effective is that Kelly Oubre is shooting just 4.0% (1-for-25) from three-point range.
- The Warriors are encouraging injured guard Klay Thompson to spend as much time as possible with the team, according to Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Thompson is in the early part of rehab after having surgery last month for his torn right Achilles tendon. “It’s important for all of us, as well as Klay himself, that he’s around this season,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because of last year’s absence and the pandemic, and just the whole bizarre year and a half it’s been for him and our franchise, I would love to have him up here as much as possible … I want our young players to feel his presence, and I want Klay here working with our training staff and getting on the court with our team as soon as he can. I think that will be important.”
- James Wiseman is an easy choice as the league’s best rookie so far, writes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. The No. 2 pick is averaging 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his first five NBA games.