The Golden State Warriors suffered a 108-104 defeat at home in San Francisco on Tuesday night in their season opener against the Phoenix Suns.
With the acquisition of Chris Paul by the Warriors throughout the offseason, there has been much discussion on the ideal starting lineup.
Paul started the game in the starting lineup while four-time All-Star Draymond Green was sidelined due to an injury.
But head coach Steve Kerr unexpectedly decided to start Jonathan Kuminga in place of Andrew Wiggins near the end of the game.
Via Anthony Slater of The Athletic: “Closing lineup choices will be interesting on nightly basis for Steve Kerr this season. He’s gone Jonathan Kuminga over Andrew Wiggins tonight. Two big offensive rebounds for Kuminga down the stretch. Missed two FTs after first. Second led to a Curry corner 3. GSW down 106-104.”
In a media meeting after the defeat, Kerr was questioned over the choice (via 95.7 The Game).
Kerr: “I thought both Kuminga and GP were defending at a high level, and obviously, you gotta guard Kevin and Book out there. So it felt like those guys were defending well, and so we went with them. That’s how it’s gonna be a lot of nights this year. Whoever’s playing the best will finish the game.”
The Warriors will visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday night for their next game.
They defeated the Kings in the NBA playoffs’ first round the previous year, but they fell short against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round.