Took me all day to muster the heart to write this one…that was one of the most painful regular season losses I’ve witnessed as a Golden State Warriors fan.
And that’s not because we lost on the road to the Utah Jazz; they are notorious for having a mighty homecourt advantage. And there’s no shame in losing when you don’t have your big guns available; the Dubs rested their three 2022 All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.
AND these Jazz are no pushovers. Sure, this iteration of the Jazz may not have the traditional star power of STOCKTON AND MALONE or HAYWARD AND GOBERT (lmao) but they can be dangerous on a given night. They had a hot start to to the season and have some intriguing chemistry despite having a roster thrown together like a box of misfit toys.
They were supposed to be tanking for Victor Wambamthankyoumaam (sp?) in the upcoming draft, not fighting for Western Conference playoff consideration. So kudos to them for getting the best out of hoopers like Jordan Clarkson and Kelly Olynyk.
SO YEAH, all disclaimers aside, this was still one of the worst losses I’ve sat through as humble soldier in Dub Nation. Why, you ask?
The young guys put on a fourth quarter comeback for the ages that they then squandered with a last second collapse for the ages.
Trailing 100-91 entering the final frame, Jonathan Kuminga went berserk.
LOOK AT THE ATHLETICISM AND GRIT! Kuminga lifted the Dubs back in the game with monster fourth quarter performance, tallying up 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists (!), as well as a block and steal. He even played some inspired defense that had the Jazz ready to throw some punches!
THIS was what the Warriors wanted when they drafted the hyperathletic teenager back in 2021. An injection of energy and force that supercharges GSW’s brand of basketball with absurd physicality. Kuminga finished the game with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 30 minutes off of the bench.
Fellow young first round draft pick Jordan Poole scored 36 points and dished 8 assists. And another GSW lottery pick came up big down the stretch, as Moses Moody delivered bombs late in crunchtime.
And yet all for naught as it ended in another road loss. The Dubs were up 122-119 with 24.9 seconds to go, and Klay Thompson got his cookies stolen on the inbound.
Klay blocks the shot, Dubs get the ball back, Poole makes one free throw to push the lead to 123-119 with 13.3 seconds to go.
The Jazz then hit a freakin’ triple after Klay fell asleep on defense.
Jordan Poole gets stripped on the ensuing inbounds, the Jazz go the other way for two points, and there’s your ball game. 124-123 Utah wins.
Tough loss. TOUGH.
2021 lottery class ranked by career TS%
I’ve been pretty high on Rollins from the start - his size + length, midrange prowess, and aggressiveness towards the rim are a nice foundation for an interesting player, in my mind - so it’s nice to see him making strides. And hitting C&S threes!