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Friday, March 31, 2023

Warriors’ Kuminga, Moody’s offer glimpse of future with 62 points in G-League game

SAN FRANCISCO — The most exciting message to flash on the Chase Center videoboard Wednesday night was not the countdown that came with every Steph Curry 3-pointer, but an update about 400 miles south of the arena.

The Warriors pair combined for 62 points – 37 from Moses Moody and 25 from Jonathan Kuminga – in a G League game against the South Bay Lakers. The public address announcer repeated himself to emphasize: 37 points for Moses Moody — how about that?!

Even in a 104-94 win, the Warriors didn’t give their fans much to cheer on Wednesday against the Blazers – coach Steve Kerr later admitted – but the hiatus provided a promising glimpse into the future. Moody’s 37, who added 10 rebounds for a double-double in 35 minutes, included five 3-pointers on 11 attempts from beyond the arc.

“Well, he is a great shooter and he has shown it in our practice. We know about his shooting touch,” Kerr said. “I am thrilled that he and JK are playing and have good reps at Santa Cruz and Getting the good minutes. That’s exactly what they need now. There’s a reason they were both lottery picks, they are both very talented players. ,

“We have a lot of confidence in Moses that if we had had some injuries and had been kicked out, he would have done quite well now.”

For now, the minutes are hard to come by with Golden State, so G League Santa Cruz is playing a key role in the Warriors’ development plan for their top two picks from the last draft. After another contest on Thursday, however, Cuminga and Moody will rejoin the NBA team for their five-game road trip beginning Saturday in Philadelphia.

His rookie season is all about learning the plot to round up a dynasty, whether it’s from immersion on the floor in Santa Cruz or the observation of his NBA teammates.

“I think the biggest thing is just to get the reps and understand what wins and what doesn’t,” Kerr said. “They’re both obviously really talented people or they wouldn’t have been picked in the lottery. But what you want from young players is the recognition of winning plays and repeating that kind of plays over and over again.

By that, Kerr means the mental aspect of the game: reading and switching right. But most importantly: don’t make costly mistakes on stage where it really matters.

Rookies have to go through the same game-plan as the rest of the Warriors, even on nights where they can’t see the court. This means studying the tendencies of every player on the opponent’s roster.

“He may not be on the field much, but he’s going through the same process we go through every day,” Kerr said of Moody, who has played two stints in Golden State’s last eight games totaling 8 minutes. “He’s absorbing seeing his teammates. … and he understands, he’s got to know all 12 guys in Portland tonight, he’s got to know all 11 in Philly on Saturday and then Indiana. So much of it. There’s all the study that goes into it.”

Cuminga has earned some rotation minutes with his trademark defensive ability, which, combined with his athleticism, has led Kerr to compare him to Clippers star Kawhi Leonard. He also scored nine points in 12 minutes against Orlando on Monday, but it was a shot he had not taken – or, at least in retrospect, would not have been – that showed Kerr the progress he had made.

“He took to the floor 3 times at the start of his time that he knew was not a good shot right away and he came and mentioned it,” Kerr said. “He said, ‘I know it’s not my shot and I’ll do better.’ That’s his big identity.”

It’s a slightly different experience than the Warriors’ first two round picks, Jordan Poole and James Wiseman, who were immediately thrown into the starting lineup and asked to learn on the fly.

World Nation News Desk
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