Jonathan Kuminga is taking a leap in Year 2 and becoming a fixture in coach Steve Kerr’s rotation for the Warriors.
Over his past 11 contests, the explosive wing is averaging 25.9 minutes, 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 60.5 percent from the floor and an eye-popping 51.9 percent from 3-point land. He’s been remarkably efficient over the past two road victories in Houston and Dallas, making 16-of-20 field goals.
Kerr joined 95.7 The Game’s “Willard & Dibs” Thursday to explain what he’s seen from the impressive 20-year-old 2021 lottery pick.
“He’s really come into his own the past couple weeks,” Kerr said. “He’s shown flashes all year. Obviously, he’s just an incredible talent. Watching him grow offensively, knowing when to attack and where to attack from, has been really fun to see.”
Even as a rookie, Kuminga earned Kerr’s trust to guard some of the game’s top players as a rookie last year like Luka Doncic and LeBron James. Now Kuminga has solidified his role off the bench, especially with Andrew Wiggins out the past 16 games, as his offense is starting to catch up with his defense.
“That’s the hardest thing for young players, especially really talented players who have the ability to do a lot of things,” Kerr said. “There’s sort of a lot of options. When you’re in the NBA and every thing’s moving quickly and there’s great athletes out there, nine guys moving around, it takes time out there to figure out when to dribble, pass and shoot. It sounds simple but it’s really not. I think that’s the biggest thing with JK right now. He’s starting to figure out when to make his move and when to move the ball on.”
Kuminga entered the league comfortable with the ball in his hands, but now he’s figuring out how to get easy buckets simply by cutting, crashing the boards and being in the right spot. He’s also become a deadly spot-up shooter, though opposing teams seem slow to catch on.
“The offensive side is where he’s made dramatic strides,” Kerr said. “He’s shooting the 3 well, but it’s more the decision-making, attacking the rim, being more patient. It’s been fun to watch.”