Kerr likens dependable DiVincenzo to MLB starting pitcher


As the Warriors persevered through injuries and Andrew Wiggins' ongoing absence over the last two months, coach Steve Kerr tinkered with different starting lineups.

But over the last five weeks, Kerr has been consistent with Donte DiVincenzo's usage, plugging him into the starting lineup for the last 17 games.

The 26-year-old provides Kerr with a veteran on the floor who can run the point and play solid defense.

More importantly, DiVincenzo simply is consistent. Kerr and the Warriors know what they are going to get from him every single game.

"I love Donte," Kerr told Mark Willard and Dan Dibley on 95.7 The Game on Thursday. "I mean, what he's done for us this year, with so many injuries, he's like a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who starts every game all year and gives you six innings over and over again. He's so dependable. He plays three different spots for us. He's guarding the toughest guys on the floor night after night.

"And what's great about him is he's good with any combination of players that are out there and that's not always the case. Some players you have to sort of pigeonhole into lineups and you have to keep them out of other lineups. Donte, you can play with anybody and he brings the energy and the juice every single night. He's just been fantastic to coach."

DiVincenzo has started 29 of the 64 games he has appeared in this season, and overall, he's averaging 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26.5 minutes.

After finishing last season with the Sacramento Kings, DiVincenzo signed a two-year, $9.225 million contract with the Warriors in free agency, though the second year is a player option worth $4.725 million.

Considering how well he is playing this season, it would seem that DiVincenzo will decline his option and test the free-agent market. But he has made it clear he likes playing with the Warriors, and it's evident that Kerr enjoys coaching him.

During an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole in February, DiVincenzo opened up about how the Warriors helped him get back on track.

"Last year with injury, you start to worry about things you can't control," DiVincenzo told Poole. "And it takes away from playing basketball. 

"Coming here, the organization helped me and allowed me to just hoop. Right or wrong, we'll watch it on film, good job we can improve this. So that has really helped my confidence. I'm not worried about anything else besides proving myself every single night and I just want to be the hardest playing player on the court."

RELATED: DiVincenzo-Poole chemistry creating bond on, off court

DiVincenzo fits everything that the Warriors like in a guard, so maybe there's a way the two sides figure out a way to stay together in the offseason that benefits everyone involved.

Kerr certainly would like to keep his reliable starting pitcher around.

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