The team planned from the start of the season that the two would join Santa Cruz Warriors on occasion in order to get playing time. Minutes have been few and far between for the two with Golden State so they have played with Santa Cruz to get reps.
The opportunity to play with Santa Cruz will also give Kuminga and Moody a broad understanding of what it takes to play at a high level on a consistent basis. They can also learn how to close out games and play in high-pressure situations.
Kerr explained what the team wants them to learn playing with Santa Cruz.
I think the biggest thing is just getting reps and understanding what wins and what doesn’t. They are both, obviously, really talented guys or they wouldn’t have been picked in the lottery. What you want from young players is a recognition of winning plays and repeating those types of plays over and over again.
By that, I mean making the right defensive read, making the right rotation and then recognizing that if you do that over and over again as a team, then your team has a chance to win. That’s the hardest part for rookies to understand when they come into this league, especially for guys who didn’t play much in college.
The two players each turned in successful performances with Santa Cruz over the weekend as they nearly combined to score 100 points in two games on assignment by themselves.
Kuminga produced 27 points and 11 rebounds on Friday in a loss to the South Bay Lakers and followed that up with 21 points and six rebounds on Saturday. Moody scored 21 points and three rebounds on Friday and a career-high 27 points and seven rebounds on Saturday.
Kuminga and Moody have also joined Santa Cruz this season to practice and scrimmage. Practice time in the NBA is limited throughout the season so they will have the opportunity to participate with Santa Cruz and continue to get reps on the court.
With minutes at a premium in the NBA, the two players will continue to shuttle back and forth from Santa Cruz to the Bay. The organization views it as a great opportunity for them to get minutes and continue their development as they make the transition to the NBA.
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