Warriors

What we learned as Kuminga shines in Warriors' blowout loss

Warriors
Kuminga dunk

With only nine players available for the Warriors against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night -- the minimum required to play an NBA game -- role players got a chance to play increased minutes. 

The player who most took advantage of the opportunity was rookie Jonathan Kuminga, who finished with a team-high 26 points in the Warriors' 119-100 loss to the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. 

With Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr. and Jordan Poole out, it left the Warriors (24-6) with just four players on the bench and a group of guys who don't usually play that many minutes together. And it looked like it.

The Warriors' scoring took the hardest hit, shooting just 46.2 percent from the floor and 30.6 percent from three. But their 20 turnovers was the biggest issue. 

Here are three takeaways from the loss to the Raptors (14-15):

Kuminga leads the way

With four of the Warriors' five starters inactive against the Raptors, Kuminga got his first start in his NBA career. And the No. 7 overall draft pick made the most of it. 

Kuminga was his usual active self that's we've become accustomed to seeing when he's on the court. But because of the limited rotation, he stepped it up a notch. 

He finished the night with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including four 3-pointers. Kuminga did turn the ball over six times while dishing out just one assist -- a clear indication of the needed growth in ball control he needs. But in the other areas of his game, it's clear his development is coming along. 

 

The four threes Kuminga hit felt different than others he has attempted during his rookie season. He took his time to find these shots, and when he went up to shoot, his legs were steadily underneath him and he shot with confidence. 

But, he didn't sacrifice his attacking game to settle for perimeter shots. Kuminga went downhill consistently throughout the night, using his strength and athleticism to his advantage, which is exactly what the Warriors want to see from him. 

On the other end, his defense seems to be coming along nicely, as well. However, his one rebound is nowhere near enough. 

Moses Moody flies under the radar

On the heels of his first career start, Moody came off the bench against the Raptors but gave a good taste of what to expect from his game as he continued to develop. 

He scored 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting, two of which were from beyond the arc, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists..

Both of Moody's 3-pointers show a glimpse of what he brings to the table: Catch-and-shoot capabilities. The only stipulation is that he didn't do it enough. 

Of the Warriors' two 2021 draft picks, Moody is considered to be the more polished and NBA-ready player. But by watching his performance Saturday -- and his game the night before against the Boston Celtics -- he still has a large learning curve in the league.

Kevon Looney, an offensive threat

As the only regular starter active, there was a lot more riding on the shoulders of Looney than usual. He needed to be the vet amongst the young, facilitate a bit more, and in Green's absence, be was a major defensive anchor.

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He did all of that, registering four rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while also boasting up his offensive numbers

Looney scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, proving that he has the abilities to score and be a helpful factor on offense, but the Warriors at full strength just don't need him to be on.