- LAS VEGAS — Moses Moody has already played in two NBA Summer League games this year. The Warriors’ Las Vegas opener was Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. Jonathan Kuminga will be returning.
Moody stole the show and Kuminga’s rust was evident in the Warriors’ loss to the New York Knicks 101-88.
Moody (20 years old) scored 34 points in the loss. All of his points came in the first three quarters. Moody finished 8 of 13 from the field, and 3 of 6 out of 3 points. He also had five rebounds, two blocks and was a second-year professional.
His free throw attempts were the most notable. Moody kicked 17 times the ball from the charity lane, and made 15 of them. Moody scored 26 points in his first season playing for Arkansas. He took 19 free throws during a win against Alabama.
Jama Mahlalela, Warriors coach, finds this kind of aggression to be a joy.
“It’s great,” Mahlalela said. He’s very aggressive and it’s great that he can get to the line so many times. Moses and I have talked a lot about the importance of trying new things during the summer to help these players be their best for the Warriors team.
“Those downhill attacks pulling contact, trying finish or at the very least get fouled and going to the free throw line.
Moody was going to have a great night. It was evident from the beginning. Moody scored 12 points in the quarter’s first quarter. He then went on to score 20 at halftime, and dropped 14 more in the third quarter. Moody was not able to come out in the first quarter, and he looked like a player trying prove a point.
He scored several points throughout the night. After struggling in his two California Classic games, he finished in the hoop and made shots. He also hit three 3-pointers.
Moody’s aggressiveness was evident when he opened the Warriors’ Las Vegas summer league games list. Moody was focused on the game and just going with it. It worked.
Moody stated, “My mindset was to let the game flow and not force anything. That’s how it works when you trust the process, trust your teammates, and play good basketball.”
Moody night was as big as Moody, but Kuminga night was much smaller.
Kuminga (19 years old) flew to Las Vegas Wednesday after his return from Congo. He didn’t have time to settle down in Las Vegas. His lack of conditioning was evident as he was the Warriors’ first player to be eliminated. He didn’t get a good score on the box either.
Kuminga was goalless at halftime. He made it 0-6 from the field and missed his first shot attempt. He scored four points and turned it five times. Kuminga was 2-10 from the field and missed all four of his shots as well as all four free throws.
Worse, he appeared to want to go anywhere other than the summer league at times. He also didn’t put in the effort required in what was often a close game.
Mahlalela didn’t mention Kuminga but stated, “We must find a way not to let a bad move become a bad second.”
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Kuminga’s role in Las Vegas is still unknown. He said that this was more of an experience and that the Warriors were putting him into positions he isn’t used to like holding the ball and making quick decision.
Kuminga will hope for a strong comeback performance Sunday night if he plays in James Wiseman’s summer league debut. It was evident which of the former Kuminga or Moody lottery games is playing better and who has been playing more lately.
After winning the NBA championship less than one month ago, the Warriors are now 0-4 in the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League.