The Golden State Warriors got an impressive win Tuesday night under unusual circumstances. The team defeated the San Antonio Spurs on the road 124-120 but were extremely shorthanded in the victory.
The Warriors were without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins due to it being the second night of a back-to-back. The team also continues to be without Draymond Green, who will be re-evaluated again after the All-Star break. Enter the team’s young players, who definitely took advantage of their chance to shine.
Young Guys Take Over
Jordan Poole led the way for the Warriors scoring 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga had big games as well. Moody scored a career-high 20 points and shot 6-10 from three, while Kuminga scored 19 points off the bench and shot 8-15 from the field.
All three of those players are 22 years old or younger. Head coach Steve Kerr spoke after the game about the way his young players stepped up.
“What a game, what a win,” said Kerr, “to dig ourselves out of that hole and to see all of your young guys competing the way they did. Our two rookies coming through in a big way. Both two-way guys making huge impacts on the game in Chiozza and Quinndary, just an incredible team win. Everybody played well, Jordan and Damion both hit huge shots, Juan and Loon just a really really fun win for the team. Our vets who didn’t play are so excited in there.”
An Organizational Win
The Warriors have found themselves in a unique position this season. It’s rare that a team has both veteran talent that allows them to win now and talented young players to build with for the future. Kerr spoke after the game about how the team has balanced doing both.
“We’re really lucky and blessed to have great mentors on our team,” said Kerr, “Between Steph, Klay, Loon, Draymond, and Andre you know we have guys that have been through this and they’re really invested in our young player’s futures. That’s pretty unique and crucial and it shows you the kind of commitment that our players have and what kind of character they have.”
“Our coaching staff is doing a great job working hard with these young guys and trying to teach them and bring them along. Our Santa Cruz staff has worked really hard with both JK and Moses and Chizz and Quinndary as well. It’s really an organizational success in my mind that we’ve been able to balance winning now at 39-13 and still trying to develop these guys for the future.”
So far the Warriors have done a great job of juggling both winning now and developing their young players. With the way that Kuminga and Moody have played recently, there is reason to be excited about how they can contribute to this team now and what they could possibly do in the future. The Warriors’ success this season, while developing their rookies just highlights another reason why they are one of the best organizations in the league.