Jonathan Kuminga Labeled ‘Perfect Warrior’ Amid Steve Kerr Requests

Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors.

It’s safe to say that this season didn’t go as the Golden State Warriors envisioned it would. They won the NBA Championship just one year ago, but this season, they faced a ton of adversity. Golden State struggled to win on the road, and their bench unit was worse than the year prior.

All that being said, they still have a chance to go on a run heading into the postseason. A big piece of their success this season should go to the young players who stepped up, and that includes Jonathan Kuminga, who has made serious strides. Patrick Epino of the Oakland Warriors podcast detailed his development on a recent episode after the Warriors’ final regular-season game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“That dude is going to be- he’s just the perfect Warrior because of what he can do on both ends of the court and his overall just ability,” Epino said. “He’s getting better. There was a play where he tried to do a little slick, one-handed pass in the lane to Klay [Thompson], but Klay was out of bounds. And Steve Kerr wanted him to just make the simple play, and Kuminga did that on the next one. Very, very basic. He drove in, the Blazers’ defense collapsed, and Donte DiVincenzo was on the left wing, and he hit him, and DiVincenzo hit the three. Done. Those are the steps that you’re seeing each game in his development.”

Heading into the season, Kuminga was slated to earn a major uptick in minutes. However, he got off to a relatively slow start. But as the year went on, plays like the one described above helped him earn the trust of Kerr. Combined with his defensive capabilities, Kuminga began earning more and more playing time, and now, he’s a regular member of the team’s rotation.

Jordan Poole Crucial to Warriors Title Hopes

Another Warriors youngster who will be crucial to Golden State’s championship chase is Jordan Poole. According to CJ Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle, Poole’s inconsistencies will greatly affect the Warriors’ playoff run.

Holmes wrote the following:

Which version of Poole will the Warriors see in this series? Will it be the guard who averaged 27 points per game while shooting 50.7% (44.7% from 3-point distance) during Golden State’s four-game homestand in late March, or the man who went 0-of-10 against an undermanned Sacramento team on Friday?

When Poole is on his game, it’s usually an offensive spectacle on par with something you’d see from Curry and Thompson. But when Poole’s off, pressing, committing turnovers and playing lackluster defense, his presence on the court can hurt Golden State in a variety of ways.

The Warriors obviously are hoping to see Poole perform as he did in his first eight playoff appearances last season, when he averaged 22.9 points per game while shooting 56.5% from the field and 42.6% from 3-point range. When he’s on, Golden State is tough to beat.

Steve Kerr Praises Jordan Poole & Kevon Looney

In other news, after the team’s final game of the regular-season, Kerr showed love to Poole and Kevon Looney for playing all 82 games.

“It’s been a rough year in a lot of ways, and they should feel really proud for making it through and fighting through a lot of adversity to get here,” Kerr said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I also singled out Loon and JP for playing all 82. It’s so difficult to play 82 games in an NBA season with all the bumps and bruises and the various forms of adversity that hit you individually. So, for Jordan and Loon to be there for us every night was just hugely valuable.”

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