Draymond Green was already ruled out for the Golden State Warriors road game in Memphis tonight, but now they’ll be missing a second power forward.
Jonathan Kuminga is now out tonight in Memphis. Bilateral knee soreness. Otto Porter, previously questionable, is available. Gary Payton II upgraded to probable. He will be needed for stints on Ja Morant.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 11, 2022
Kuminga may not have played much anyway, as he and fellow rookie Moses Moody played 30+ minutes last night for Santa Cruz as they faced the Memphis Hustle. His knee may have been bothering him already, as he looked somewhat tentative and only took 12 shots before fouling out in 30 minutes. (Moody went for 37 points, while new two-way signing Quinndary Weatherspoon had 34 in an OT win.) Not that Moody or Weatherspoon are key pieces to the rotation, but it would be a surprise to see either play much tonight.
Thankfully, the Warriors should have Otto Porter Jr. back as a bench big covering those front court minutes. They may have Gary Payton II as well, which would help quite a bit facing Ja Morant. Plus, he’s basically a power forward on offense anyway, and the only Warrior with a chance to match Morant dunk for dunk. Juan Toscano Anderson will be starting, which he effectively did in Monday night’s game after Draymond played a token few seconds to support Klay Thompson. Speaking of Klay, he will be starting again, though he will be skipping one of the back-to-back games on Thursday or Friday.
It’s either encouraging that Porter and Payton are healthier than expected, or it’s a sign that Steve Kerr takes the burgeoning rivalry with the Grizzlies seriously, after they battled twice in last year’s play-in tournament. Currently Memphis is fourth in the Western Conference and riding a nine-game win streak. The last team to beat them? YOUR Golden State Warriors!