Game 23: GSW @ Phoenix. Kerr on Kuminga in the rotation. Plus open thread.
Can we PLEASE get some new opponents
How much did you feel like you accomplished these last two days?
It was great, yeah. Really unusual to have this kind of time for practice. We had two great days and it's been a good weekend. A few days here in Phoenix, a lot of bonding. Had a great staff dinner last night. I know the players. have gone out a couple nights, so hopefully they'll be ready to go tomorrow.
Based on what you saw in OKC against the Thunder. Ride this out or is it still something of we need to continue to watch?
We have to consider everything, at 10 - 12 you know, losing a lot of close games. We have to consider everything. There's always an opportunity to make some changes as a team if you feel like that's what you have to do. But we're also showing a lot of good things. We're getting leads on the road against good teams every night. So we know we can play at a high level, but it's about sustaining it. But whatever we have to do as a coaching staff to try to sustain those efforts, that's what we have to do. So we'll see.
Kuminga last game, had 12 rebounds, 24 points. What did you like, especially from his performance?
The last two games, he's been around the rim and you know it's one of the things we've been trying to you know help him with is really leveraging his athleticism, his power, his strength by getting closer to the rim and you know rolling rather than popping. Relying more on the force of his cuts and you know working out of the dunker spot, making himself available so he can catch and go right up and finish.
You know two games ago he went six for six. I think all six buckets were in the paint so if he can establish his game near the rim, now that softens everything up and he can play more on the perimeter. But as a young player, he really fashions himself as kind of a 3 man who's going to do everything. We feel like he needs to establish that power game inside and the finishing. And he's done that the last two games, and that's going to get him more playing time.
How do you think that that can sort of help you guys loosen up offensively if he's doing that?
Well, we don't have a lot of force at the rim. Our bigs with Draymond and Loon are more dribble handoff guys and passers out of the post. And so if we can get easy buckets from JK— and also from Wiggs — attacking the rim, getting downhill, getting dunks, it just balances out our offense.
Two games ago, he started it out of the rotation. Has he done enough the last two games even with him?
Yeah, yeah. He's really responded well the last couple of weeks, too. And we've talked to all of our young guys about this. Before it even happened, I talked to Moses and JK. Once we were fully healthy, we had everyone available, somebody was going to be left out of the rotation. Part of that is: how do you respond? That's a big part of being a pro. How do you respond to the adversity? And I think Moses and JK have both responded beautifully. They understood, and then when they got their opportunity, they really took advantage of it. And that's what you're looking for. So both guys will be in the rotation for sure.
How do you like the way the closing lineups look the last two games? That's been JK, I think in place of Looney from the starters. How does that combo sort of fit in your mind?
Well, it's looked pretty good. Two games ago especially, JK had some of those finishes. that we needed desperately. Last game, obviously, we had the game won, but didn't handle the last three-point shot well. But it's definitely a combination we can go to. But every game is different, so it's not as simple as, "All right, that's our closing lineup." So we have to play it game by game.
You made it seem like you prefer to play nine, but you're willing to go ten. Is that still flexible game to game, or are you locked into nine or ten?
It's flexible game by game. I mean, the hard part comes when Gary comes back, and we're all in the same boat. Fully healthy and we have like I said 11, 12 guys who have every right to be in the lineup and you just can't do that. You can't play 11 or 12 guys and so no matter what I do, you guys are gonna have the question for me after the game why didn't you play so and so. But this how it works and what you're hoping is that it really sorts itself out but it's hard for that to happen because got a lot of lot of worthy people who have earned playing time
WHEN: 2023-12-12 7:00 PM Pacific
WHO: Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix
WATCH: NBCSN Bay Area, TNT
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