Warriors’ Kuminga, Moody Torch G League, Show Star Potential

Jonathan Kuminga

Getty Jonathan Kuminga dunks in a game against the Chicago Bulls.

To say that the Golden State Warriors have an embarrassment of riches on the roster this season might actually be an understatement.

Rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga offered more evidence to support that notion Wednesday night, December 8, while playing for the team’s G League affiliate. Moody and Kuminga combined for 62 total points to lead the Santa Cruz Warriors to a win over the Agua Caliente Clippers, 122-121.

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Moody was the team’s top scorer in the game, dropping in 37 points, while Kuminga added 25 points of his own. The type of G League performance each rookie put up is indicative of a player who will soon graduate to making big impacts on NBA courts.

Kuminga, Moody Each Rattle Rim in G League Wednesday


GettyGolden State Warriors shooting guard Moses Moody battles for a loose ball with Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

Beyond their overall production, each Golden State youngster also added to their highlight reels with a high-flying dunk.

The NBA G League Twitter account posted a nearly 2-minute reel of Kuminga’s offensive night online Wednesday, which included a steal that ended in a backhanded, open court slam dunk. The play begins around the 1:13 mark in the video.

Kuminga’s thunderous dunk, which came late in the 3rd quarter, was not an exact replica of what Moody accomplished early in the 1st quarter. But at the very least, the two plays followed the same outline.

Moody also anticipated a pass, made a steal, then trucked down the court to finish the sequence with authority at the rim. The NBA G League tweeted video of that play Wednesday, as well.

“Moses Moody has been watching Kuminga catch bodies and wanted one for himself!” the video caption said.

Both Golden State Rookies Shaping up Strong in G League

Steve Kerr, center, coach of the Warriors

GettySteve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

In an ideal world for the rookies, they would each be completing more of their early career development on an NBA court. But in what is clearly the most ideal scenario for the Golden State franchise itself, the team’s roster is so deep and its success level so high that there are not always minutes to go around.

The Warriors have played 25 games to date, earning a record of 21-4. Kuminga has averaged 7.5 minutes per night while appearing in 15 of those contests, per Basketball Reference. Most of his time on the floor has been characterized by high-level defense and high-flying dunks.

Moody has appeared in 16 regular season games for the Dubs, averaging 5.8 minutes per night. Both played in the team’s Monday, December 6 contest against the Orlando Magic — Kuminga getting 12 minutes of action and Moody registering 4 minutes. They were both sent back to the G League and were not listed on the main roster Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazers.

Prior to Monday’s game against the Magic, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained the thinking behind rotating Moody and Kuminga back and forth between the NBA and the G League.

“I think the biggest thing is just getting reps and understanding what wins and what doesn’t,” Kerr said. “They are both, obviously, really talented guys or they wouldn’t have been picked in the lottery. What you want from young players is a recognition of winning plays and repeating those types of plays over and over again.”

“The whole point of being a good team is to execute over and over again and try to wear a team down with that execution,” Kerr continued. “So recognizing that in-game is very important. It’s similar to young quarterbacks in the NFL not turning the ball over. It’s not taking too much risk, stuff like that. There’s just got to be a feel for what wins at this level. It’s not anything you can just tell someone, they have to actually feel it.”

Both Kuminga and Moody will get a chance to show what they’ve learned during the Warriors’ upcoming five-game road trip through the Eastern Conference, as Kerr said Wednesday each rookie will be traveling with the team over the eight-day stretch.

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