Warriors

Assistant GM Harris: Kuminga's defense impressing Warriors

Warriors
Kuminga playing defense

Jonathan Kuminga's dunks have been getting all the attention during the Las Vegas Summer League, but it's another aspect of his game that has caught the eye of members of the Warriors' organization.

Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris joined the ESPN2 broadcast during the team's 80-79 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night, and highlighted Kuminga's defense when asked for his thoughts on the No. 7 overall draft pick.

"Exciting," Harris said. "Certainly all of Warriors Nation, especially the front office and coaching staff is real excited about what we've seen so far. Certainly everybody can see the athleticism, but what we've been impressed with is his defensive acumen so far early here in Summer League, as well as his ability, which everybody knows he can get to the basket. Great in transition. But defensively and just his willingness to work and competitiveness has been good."

Kuminga showed off his defensive skills throughout Sunday's game at Cox Pavilion, but in the final 15 seconds of regulation, he locked down Naji Marshall and forcing a bad shot. When the Warriors got the rebound, Kuminga leaked out and was able to give them a two-point lead with 6.6 seconds remaining.

When the Warriors and Pelicans went to overtime, Kuminga came through with an incredible block in the final seconds. In one of the stranger rulings you will see, the play was ruled a goaltending in real-time, but was challenged by the Warriors. Upon review by the referees, they overturned the goaltend, but decided that the whistle was inadvertent and play should have continued. After Kuminga supposedly goaltended, the Pelicans quickly collected the ball and laid it in to take the lead. The Warriors players on the court likely stopped playing when they heard the whistle and didn't contest the shot that came after the whistle. Anyway, Kuminga showed quickness recovering for the block.

 

Kuminga, who stands at 6-foot-8 and has a 6-foot-11 wingspan, is a massive presence on the court with his Summer League teammates and competition.

When Kuminga played for the G League Ignite last year rather than play in college, he had 13 steals and 11 blocks in 13 games.

RELATED: Unique Kuminga trait excites Bob Myers

Early in Sunday's game Kuminga threw down a nasty breakaway dunk that will make the highlight reels.

But if the 18-year-old can play high-level defense, the Warriors will be so much more dangerous during the 2021-22 NBA season.

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