Warriors Coach Makes Decision on Former Lottery Pick After Breakout

Warriors Steve Kerr Jonathan Kuminga

Getty Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr confers with forward Jonathan Kuminga during a preseason bout with the Washington Wizards.

It would be inaccurate to say that Jonathan Kuminga got off to a slow start for the Golden State Warriors this season. His first nine games of the 2022-23 campaign would be better described as a total failure to launch, as he logged three DNP-CDs and regularly received single-digit minute allotments in other games.

Considering his status as a former No. 7 pick, the many show-out performances he gave when receiving significant time last season, as well as the fact that he was expected to slide into a featured spot in the second unit this year, it was a disappointing turn of events for Dub Nation.

On Friday, however, Kuminga finally had the kind of game that the Bay Area faithful had been hoping to see from him. And all it took was getting a longer leash from Steve Kerr.

Kuminga was on the hardwood for a career-high 38 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans and he made the most of his opportunity, scoring 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and adding four boards, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

Meanwhile, the Warriors actually outscored NOLA by a bucket when he was out there, in a game they lost by nine points.


Kuminga to Receive a Longer Look From Coach Kerr?

In the wake of the loss, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it clear that he liked what he saw from Kuminga. So much so, in fact, that we may be seeing more of the baller moving forward.

“JK played really well and he’s earned some minutes,” Kerr said matter-of-factly.

Of course, the 20-year-old Kuminga picked a good time to bring his best effort. After the team’s previous loss to the Orlando Magic, Kerr had hinted that there would be changes coming on the rotational front. And when he was asked about Kuminga specifically, he noted that everyone would be given a chance to play.

Flash forward to the immediate aftermath of Kuminga’s big night and Kerr went a step further by confirming that his rotations would be changing.

“We’re gonna change up the rotations a little bit, and I’ve got an idea of what I’m gonna do, but the staff will talk about it in the next couple of days and will solidify that,” Kerr said. “It should be a good week for us to get back on track.”


Kuminga Still Has Some Things to Learn, Though

Pressed for more details on Kuminga’s ability to answer the call, Kerr shouted out various aspects of the youngster’s game that impressed.

“I thought he played really hard. I think thought he had some good passes, he attacks the rim, he’s explosive. There’s a reason he was the seventh pick in the draft. He’s a really talented young guy…”

It’s Kerr’s hope, though, that Kuminga can develop an ability to maintain that level of effort in changing circumstances. Playing well when you know you’re going to spend a lot of time on the court every night is one thing, being prepared when you don’t know if you’re playing or not is another matter entirely.

“He showed tonight that he’s ready to step into the rotation and contribute but that has to be every day and that’s what I’m going to ask of him is to bring that effort and that energy every day and be able to play through the tough nights where maybe the minutes aren’t there and come back the next day and be ready to go again.

“That’s what all these guys have to learn at a young age.”

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Nang T
Nang T
2 months ago

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Nang T
Nang T
2 months ago

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Nang T
Nang T
2 months ago

nangt6635

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