Stephen Curry told reporters after the Golden State Warriors lost a heartbreaker to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday that the team's mentality will change. "When you lose hope in yourself as a team, that's when the conversation changes," Curry adds. "We're not there."
A media story concerning forward Jonathan Kuminga quickly implied differently. The 2021 lottery choice "has lost faith" in head coach Steve Kerr and fears he will limit his potential, Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic said Friday morning.
Despite scoring 16 points in 19 minutes, Kuminga was benched for the fourth quarter Thursday night, according to unidentified sources. He scored four rebounds and four assists on 5-for-7 shooting.
The 21-year-old scored a and-1 midway through the third quarter, but Kerr took him out 30 seconds later. Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney were replaced together but returned before the game's end.
The Warriors lost 130-127 after Kuminga witnessed them lose an 18-point lead. Warriors lost their fourth game this season after allowing a lead of at least 18 points. Kerr again had to defend a dubious closing lineup.
Kuminga is a more complete player than when the Warriors picked him No. 7 three years ago. His solid start began Dec. 14 against the Los Angeles Clippers after Draymond Green's extended ban. Since then, Kuminga has averaged 14.6 points, 56.6% shooting, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 25.5 minutes per game across 11 starts.
Kerr has avoided playing Kuminga and Wiggins together, and Green's return will reduce frontcourt minutes. The Warriors are 11th in the Western Conference with a 16-18 record and appear to be turning a round. The encounter is a low point for rookie guard Brandin Podziemski.
"For me as a rookie, I've probably never lost like this," he told reporters Thursday. "I've never won so well and lost so badly. I must trust veterinarians' opinions."
Curry tried to explain the team's unhappiness to reporters Thursday. This Friday, the Warriors can put those words into action against the Detroit Pistons.