Warriors coach heaps praise on rookie Jonathan Kuminga

Feb 1, 2022; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00) dribbles in the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2022; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00) dribbles in the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Golden State Warriors have been giving rookie Jonathan Kuminga some crucial minutes with four-time All-Star forward Draymond Green out. Kuminga has now started 7 games and played in 50.

On the season, he’s averaging 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

The Golden State Warriors have given rookie star Jonathan Kuminga big-time minutes as of late, and it’s certainly paying off.

Kuminga’s numbers get even more impressive when you look at them per 36 minutes as the rookie isn’t getting too many minutes, averaging just 15 per game. That said, per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 19.9 points and 7.1 rebounds.

There are a few key factors in Kuminga’s game that have made this season even more impressive. For starters, his efficiency, which aided his drop to No. 7 in the 2021 NBA Draft, has been significantly better than expected.

Only Gary Payton II and Kevon Looney have played in as many games and are shooting better from the field. He’s currently shooting 50.3% from the field. Kuminga is hitting 32% of his attempts from deep and almost 60% of his attempts from two-point range.

On top of shooting a high percentage, Kuminga has had a number of standout performances. Kuminga has topped 15 10 times, and in those 10 games, the Warriors are 7-3. When Kuminga gets a major role in the offense, they’ve been played collectively.

One coach for Golden State, Bruce Fraser, went as far as calling Kumiina a “no-ceiling type of player,” per NBC Sports. “But his ability to playmake, and score, and pass, he’s a very, very exciting almost-no-ceiling type player,” Fraser said.

Fraser said what everyone has thought about Kuminga, especially considering just how he’s fit in this quick-moving offense. Kuminga has been a terrific slasher, oftentimes getting his easy, high-percentage looks off cuts to the bucket.

Kuminga’s improvements and involvement should be seen as a premier highlight of the season. He wasn’t meant to be this good this fast; in fact, many viewed Kuminga’s season as more of a learning experience, not actually getting minutes.

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Green’s continued absence with a back injury has helped the rookie explode onto the scene, and he’s taken advantage of the opportunity.