The Warriors had a huge win on Christmas Day against the Suns in Phoenix, but it was how they did it that was most notable.
Golden State was without two of its starters, guard Jordan Poole and forward Andrew Wiggins, due to health and safety protocols. The entire roster, or what remained of it, stepped up in a big way. That includes rookie F Jonathan Kuminga.
Kuminga had 12 points in 21 minutes and tallied a plus-5 plus/minus rating, making an impact in a highly entertaining game of NBA basketball. In fact, there was so much action that the TV broadcast didn’t have time to show a replay after Kuminga’s best move of the day.
But it was spectacular. And it was in the fourth quarter, forcing the Suns to call a timeout. Here’s the best shot I could find of it on the web, courtesy of KNBR’s Sam Hustis.
Okay, I may have lied. Here is a similar shot but with another revealing angle.
When Kuminga drove to the hoop, I didn’t know what he would do. But I certainly didn’t see that coming. What a move!
I’ll happily humble-brag and say that I was extremely excited about Kuminga’s pre-draft prospects and was elated when the Warriors selected him. You’d have to be blind to not see his potential.
But I also said he could help the Warriors this year. Though he’s raw, Kuminga’s game doesn’t have to be refined just yet. He can easily make simple, straightforward plays thanks to the Warriors motion offense and floor spacing, especially when superstar Stephen Curry draws multiple defenders.
Kumina appears to be advancing at a rapid rate, however. I can’t wait to see how much he can contribute come playoff time. Though I probably can’t say the same for the Warriors’ adversaries, the Suns included.