The Golden State Warriors have the difficult task of playing the next few weeks without Draymond Green. Leader on and off the court, game generator and most hierarchical and differential defender. Replacing their figure is impossible, but they can excite the fans and work in the medium term with the insertion of Jonathan Kuminga.
“We are in a difficult situation, like the one that all teams face every year, and this is our moment now with some of the injuries.“, coach Steve Kerr said after Golden State’s loss early Monday morning to Minnesota by 119-99. ”So it’s OK. we’ll bounce back”.
In this recent loss to the Wolves they were also without Stephen Curry, but the point guard could be back for the next game. However, Green will be around for a longer time. What started out as an apparent calf injury turned out to be a disc problem in his lower back.
Green’s loss opens a gap in the starting lineup, in addition to 30.8 minutes per game (average 29.9 for going 7 seconds into Klay’s return). Kerr uses Otto Porter Jr. as the Warriors’ starting power forward, whose frontcourt It is made up Andrew Wiggins, Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney, great rebounding performance in the season.
On the bench are reliable relievers like Andre Iguodala, Juan Toscano-Anderson or Nemanja Bjelica, but there is a player who will be capital along with Porter Jr. in the task of replacing Draymond: young Jonathan Kuminga, pick 7 of the last Draft.
“I think you are responding very well“Kerr said of Kuminga after the Minnesota game.”He competed very well in Milwaukee and Chicago. You make mistakes, but you have to learn, and the best way to do that is through experience. Every minute is important to him and we will continue to push him to be better.“.
“The most important thing a player has to learn when he comes to the NBA is when to pass, shoot and dribble. You have to adapt to the rhythm and make decisions quickly. As in life, you need to learn from experienceKerr continued about the rookie and his apprenticeship.It is part of the process. It’s not always going to be easy, but I’m very proud of how he’s responding“.
Kuminga barely had any weight in the starting rotation, but the losses give him a new role. In the last 4 games he has played, running out of minutes against Cleveland and Memphis, Kuminga averages 18 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 block, 50% field goals and 28.6% triples (3.5 attempts) in 24.5 minutes. He hasn’t been a starter, but it seems clear that Kerr wants to take advantage of the stretch without Green to invest in the youngster.
JK comin’ through 💥
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 17, 2022
“Jon is an incredible athlete. His ability to attack the rim is impressive.“Klay Thompson added after playing against the Wolves, a game in which Kuminga had 19 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes. “I loved his aggressiveness tonight. That is shown by the 10 free throws he has attempted. He’s going to be a big part of this team for a long time.“.
The best thing the Warriors are doing is knowing how to maintain their defensive level without Draymond, one of the favorites for Defender of the Year. Since his release began on January 6, they have fallen from 102.2 points conceded per 100 possessions to 104.8 points conceded per 100 possessions.. There is a certain drop, yes, but they go from being the most efficient defense until January 5 to being the 6th since the 6th.
“We must maintain the principles that we work on day to day“Kerr explained about keeping the level behind without Draymond.”Defending without needing to, protect the paint, rotate, protect the rebound… I’m glad we can do it“In fact, Kuminga is being one of the players with the most energy and the best defensive level of this stretch with a record of 2-4 for Golden State.
The Warriors return home to regroup. They expect Curry’s return as soon as possible, but Kerr himself indicated that fatigue is taking its toll. They will play seven home games against the Pistons, Pacers, Rockets, Jazz, Mavericks, Timberwolves and Nets. Green is expected to be out of everyone, so Kuminga, as the coach himself has said, will continue to be very relevant.
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Jonathan Kuminga will have more minutes without Draymond Green: what does it mean for the Golden State Warriors? | NBA.com Spain | The official site of the NBA