The Golden State Warriors blew a four-point lead the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, dropping a game they had completely in hand, 124-123, to fall back to .500 for the season at 13-13. Nobody was happy about the meltdown. Least of all Steve Kerr, who spoke with palpable frustration afterward. 

Kerr did highlight one positive thing to come out of the loss: the performance of Jonathan Kuminga, who has been terrific of late as he continues to cement his spot in Golden State's regular rotation. 

"JK was tremendous tonight," Kerr said of Kuminga, who finished with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting. "He continued his recent play as far as defense, running the floor and really being solid, but he added the scoring, getting to the rim, posting up a couple times, fantastic defensive play down the stretch when he blocked [Jordan] Clarkson's shot and then got fouled. JK was magnificent."

Kuminga and Moses Moody have spent time sliding in and out of Golden State's rotation. Moody's minutes had been more matchup- or injury-based, while Kuminga had been getting what felt like just sporadic auditions. Yet he impressed in enough of them to land what appears to be a permanent gig. If he's not playing 20-25 minutes a night moving forward, it would be surprising. 

As many have lost faith in the James Wiseman project, it has become imperative for the Warriors -- barring a trade -- for either Kuminga or Moody to pop if they want to have something to show for the last three lottery picks they figure to have for a while. Moody was the likelier candidate, it seemed, for a minute, and there is plenty there to remain excited about. Moody is going to have an impact in the playoffs. I believe that. 

But the two-way athletic ability of Kuminga was always the most tantalizing. It's why the Warriors have resisted a trade even as Kerr was handing Kuminga DNP-CDs, remaining patient through his developmental process. Now we're starting to see the fruit of that patience as Kuminga pairs his physical gifts with a better understanding of how, and where, they fit inside Golden State's system, which is equal parts flowing and fragile. 

Throw someone out there with no feel for the flow, and the whole thing can get pretty disjointed. Wiseman has been a mess in this way. Kuminga is keeping things moving. He's cutting at the right time, to the right places, not mucking things up. He's flowing from DHOs into ball screens and rolling assertively straight to the open space. He's crashing the offensive glass for posterizing putbacks. You can see him playing freely, reacting rather than thinking. 

You have likely heard Stephen Curry talk about 0.5 basketball, meaning when you get the ball, you make a decision to either shoot, drive or pass in a half second. There's no full stopping to ponder options. No dribbling in place like James Harden surveying a stalled landscape. You get it, take an instant snapshot, and go, and that kind of split-second decision making requires an anticipatory feel, a court and surroundings sense that some have and others don't. And, fortunately for the Warriors, Kuminga is looking more and more like he is discovering that power. 

Watch below how quickly Kuminga attacks the paint, first off a pick-and-pop where takes only a beat to recognize an open lane and accelerate downhill, then on a post catch where he senses an open baseline and spins to the space for a strong finish. 

Speaking of quick decisions and strong finishes, hello!

Kuminga knew there wasn't another defender in the paint and he had a mismatch with Nickeil Alexander-Walker on him. Before any other defender could come to help or drop into the paint to clog things up, he just caught and went. No hesitation. And that finish? Whoa! That's the kind of athleticism and force that you can't teach, that the Warriors are so enthralled with given their roster's general lack of those traits, save for Andrew Wiggins, but he doesn't have Kuminga's body.

Defensively, Kuminga has the goods to be special, and we're seeing it more and more. Kerr described Kuminga as being "locked in" on the defensive end over the past few games, and this has been evident at the point of attack, where Kuminga, who is getting the toughest assignments, can be almost unshakeable when he decides to dig in with his quick-twitch athleticism, sturdy frame and and top-shelf lateral movement. 

Here he cuts off Donovan Mitchell, one of the league's most difficult scorers, preventing him from getting an easy path to the basket. 

Watch Kuminga -- after picking up full court -- flip his hips consecutive times against Luka Doncic, first opening to his right, then swiveling back to his left to cut off Doncic's angle going to his preferred right hand. 

You cannot teach loose hips. Kuminga's ability to maintain balance while changing direction on a dime is NFL cornerback stuff, and it can frustrate penetrators who are accustomed to getting first steps and winning angles. Ask Jordan Clarkson, who was ready to fight Kuminga (this would've been a bad idea) after he couldn't get an inch of space and had his shot blocked. 

At their peak, the Warriors could dominate a game defensively the same way they could offensively. That's not so much the case anymore, which makes Kuminga all the more vital. Golden State isn't littered with defenders so the ones they do have need to carry more weight. Kuminga is proving he's ready more responsibility with his play on both ends, and the Warriors need it to continue.