LAS VEGAS — Spurs’ newest member of the team, rookie Joe Wieskamp, did not have the greatest start to his pro career. And even he admits it.
Drafted largely based on his ability to knock down the three-point shot, Wieskamp made one three-pointer off 12 attempts at the 2021 Salt Lake City Review.
However, when the Las Vegas games started, it was a better shooting performance.
His shot started to fall and he is looking confident when he steps on the court.
“I think it's just been learning. I've learned something from each game,” Wieskamp said. “Whether it be defensively. Offensively, how I can cut, or how I can set up my defender. Just dealing with the speed of the game. The athleticism.”
At the Las Vegas games, he went 1-1 from the three-point line versus Minnesota. He followed that up with an 11 point game versus Chicago (2-7 from long range), and 17 points (3-9 from the three-point line).
Said Wieskamp: “All those different things I just feel like I am learning and getting more comfortable with each game.”
Helping him get acclimated to the NBA has been Tre Jones.
Wieskamp chuckles at Jones guiding him. The pair are the same age (21 years old) but Jones is the “veteran” and the rookie forward appreciates the advice he gets.
“He's been in the league for a year,” said Wieskamp. “Some of those guys have a little bit of pro experience. They can give a guy like me advice when I was thrown right into it. It's nice to hear that from them.”
That support has been tremendous for him to shake off his shooting woes as well as trust in himself. Wieskamp said his teammates and coaches were them for him letting him know to just shoot the ball when he was struggling.
Coach Mitch Johnson said Wieskamp would find his rhythm after he settled down and he was right.
“I think for Joe, it’s his first run at this,” Johnson said. “I think for him it’s just settling in and playing basketball. Those first couple of games as a pro, he was too green. I can’t imagine the nerves, the pressure, and him just wanting to do well.”
The good news is Wieskamp has confidence in himself and isn’t shy to admit when he is not performing well.
“I have not been shooting the ball very well. I know that. Everyone knows that but they know how good of a shooter I am,” he said. “They’re constantly telling me to let that thing fly.”
Wieskamp continued his improved play in the team’s recent game versus the Nets.
He recorded nine points off 4-10 shooting including six rebounds and four assists showing he is more than just a three-point threat with an all-around game.
He capped his Las Vegas play with 12 points, seven rebounds, and 50-percent field goal shooting in 21 minutes of play versus the Thunder.
“The way they set me up by driving and kicking, He’s [Jones] is a great teammate and I'm excited to continue to grow with him and really the whole younger crew,” he said. “I’m excited to learn from all of them.”
Wieskamp has reportedly signed a two-way contract with the Spurs, meaning he'll spend most of his time with the G League team in Austin this year.
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