Once again, the Golden State Warriors are attempting to go boldly where no NBA team has gone before, taking the lead from team owner Joe Lacob, who always tries to be light years ahead of the competition.
And once again, they’re succeeding.
The Warriors’ bold strategy to compete for titles and develop their young players — even their teenage players — at the same time paid off in Tuesday’s comeback win over the Spurs in San Antonio. With seven rotation players sitting out, the Warriors’ youth led a 33-13 run over the final 9:55 to grab a 124-120 victory.
Guard Jordan Poole scored 31 points including the final go-ahead shot, and rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody played huge roles down the stretch, with 19 and 20 points, respectively.
Golden State’s diabolical dual-track plan certainly looks to be threading the needle. Coach Steve Kerr says it’s thanks in large part to the team’s veterans and their support for the young dubs.
“We have guys that have been through this, and they are really invested in our young players’ future,” Kerr said postgame. “That’s pretty unique and crucial. I think it shows you the kind of commitment that our players have and what kind of character they have. They really care about these young guys; they want to bring them along the right way.”
Unique and crucial indeed. Unique because of how much the Warriors have prioritized development next to winning. Crucial because the veterans have to be on board for that to work. But players such as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Andre Iguodala are all in on the Warriors’ plans.
“It’s 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,” Kerr added.
Judging from the Warriors’ run against the Spurs, it’s clearly a wild success at this point. Kuminga shook off a rough start to make an impact, Moody hit six 3-pointers and displayed elite hustle, and Poole played the role of lead youngster perfectly.
Here are the final moments of the game with all three young players on the floor.
That final sequence was incredible. If second-year center James Wiseman, still out with injury, can join this bunch soon, as is projected, this light-years situation could get even better — as unimaginable as that is.