The Golden State Warriors managed to stay competitive while also stacking up with young talent, something not many professional teams are able to do.
Nonetheless, as promising as some of their prospects are, they had failed to step up when the team truly needed them to stay afloat.
That wasn’t the case in last night’s win over the Charlotte Hornets when Jonathan Kuminga proved that he could be an efficient contributor down the stretch.
The second-year forward showed flashes of his lockdown defense, helping seal the win with some clutch plays on both ends of the floor, and earning plenty of praise from coach Steve Kerr:
“We went with him for his defense,” Kerr said after the game. “He’s playing really well defensively, and he was guarding LaMelo (Ball) and I just wanted to stay with him because of the impact he was making on the ball and with his energy. He made huge plays defensively and that kind of led to a couple offensive plays. He was rewarded for that defensive effort. He was just brilliant. (Kuminga) has really come a long way. The focus on being a defensive stopper over the last month, he’s kind of found a role and settled into it.”
Here were the five big Jonathan Kuminga plays in crunch time tonight vs Hornets
*Rips away a steal from PJ Washington
*Traffic rebound over Plumlee
*Gets available for dunk
*Floater in iso vs Hayward
*Cuts open for another dunk pic.twitter.com/kEvGuzLhqg
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 28, 2022
Kuminga’s raw skills are way too promising.
He’s an impressive athlete with the potential to be one of the most dominant two-way players in the league.
Hopefully, he’ll gain more confidence from this game and starts stringing good efforts together, as consistency is key for young players trying to make a name for themselves in the league.