SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors have two players in health and safety protocols for COVID-19.
On Monday night their rival, the Sacramento Kings, have six players in protocol, as well as their head coach, Alvin Gentry.
Teams around the NBA are watching games – even a week’s worth of competition – postponed due to COVID.
But with the NBA not expected to stop playing in the league amid this fourth wave, the Warriors and the rest of the association are walking on an eggshell.
“It’s nerve-racking for everyone,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said ahead of Monday’s game. “It’s hard to come back to this state, but it’s hard for everyone.”
But amid the chaos, there is an opportunity for warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
With Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Pool out indefinitely, Cuminga will begin his second consecutive game on Monday. Kerr said Moody will be a key player off the bench.
Cuminga made his first NBA debut in Toronto on Saturday. He scored 26 points in 36 minutes in that game, with most of the Warriors giants back in the Bay Area.
Monday’s match will prove to be a different challenge for the overall number seven player. Instead of playing with Chris Chioza and Juan Toscano-Andersen, he would share court with Steph Curry and Drummond Green.
“It’s not 26 points in Toronto … that’s what we’re going to see every night,” Kerr said of Cuminga. “It’s not so much that he has to play differently. It’s that he has to focus on the most important aspects of the game that are going to help us win.”
“We need to lock him defensively and defend without fouling. [To] Get out and run into the transition. Just act aggressively. He is very dynamic as an athlete, if he is just patient and chooses his position wisely, he is going to produce. ,
Along with Moody, who started Friday in Boston but played only 10 minutes. Kerr cited the need to get the 19-year-old out of Arkansas “rep.”
“I see a guy who feels good for the sport. Good natural instincts,” Kerr said of Moody. “It takes time to gain confidence as a novice. You need reps, you need to feel the game over and over again. ,
“He needs experience. And so we’ll keep sending him to Santa Cruz occasionally [the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate], where he has done really well. And, you never know — as we’re just now finding out… he’ll get this opportunity.”
, iron man looney
Kevon Looney has played and started every game for the Warriors this season, and with two starts from the lineup with COVID and two potential starts still sidelined with long-term injuries, the value of that consistency is not being overlooked by Kerr.
“He’s been a rock for us this year and couldn’t be happier for him,” Kerr said. “Especially the way the last few years went by for him physically. He has put in the time and effort and he has earned it. He’s been one of our most consistent performers, and there’s a reason our defense is number one in the league. ,
A one-time five-star recruit, whose draft stock plummeted after a year at UCLA due to a hip injury, Looney has battled injury issues throughout his career. First his hip, then a core muscle injury that required surgery in May 2020.
In the Warriors’ last five competitive games – therefore, excluding Saturday’s shorthand game in Toronto, in which Looney played – the Warriors’ center averaged 8.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2 assists per competition and has been a plus-8 player per competition. Is. Night on that stretch.
Looney are not players whose influence can be properly explained by statistics, but that doesn’t mean that statistics can’t show their effect.
Whether the box score is empty or is being filled like in recent games, Kerr is commendable.
“Loon has had a really good season,” he said.
, Back in the Air for Wiggins and Poole
Kerr could not provide an update on when the Warriors would expect Poole and Wiggins to return to the lineup on Monday, leaving the matter to the team’s coaches.
“It’s all up to the league and their protocol,” Kerr said. “And since I’m no expert, I’m not going to go into detail on that. I basically just listened to the training material and everything they say.
“We are obviously looking forward to getting them both back as soon as possible. I feel bad for them. I feel bad for everyone around the league who has been sidelined. Obviously, the main thing There is health and both the players are doing well, so hopefully this will continue and we will get them back soon.”