After arguably being the most exciting aspect of the Golden State Warriors’ regular season, Jonathan Kuminga is once again learning about the instability that the NBA playoffs can bring young players.
Despite averaging over 20 minutes during an impressive second season, Kuminga is now averaging just 7.5 minutes across the first four games of the Warriors’ first-round series against Sacramento Kings.
Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga is fighting the mental battle of the inconsistent minutes that comes with the NBA Playoffs.
Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 was particularly hard for Kuminga — he played less than three minutes in the first-half, failed to make any sort of meaningful impact, and then didn’t see the floor again after that first stint.
Veteran forward Andre Iguodala, who is currently out as he recovers from wrist surgery, was seen addressing Kuminga after the 20-year-old looked quite despondent and with a towel over his head following his brief period on the court.
Having been a major part of the rotation, and a genuinely key reason behind Golden State securing the Western Conference’s sixth-seed, one can understand the disappointment and frustration that Kuminga is currently going through.
24 hours on from the game, he sent out a reassuring message to his fans on Twitter. The second-year forward stated, “it’s just mental. Game 5. Let’s get it baby”. Everyone acknowledges that Kuminga has the physical attributes to impact, but the playoffs are largely about rising to the occasion from a mental standpoint. That’s a facet that really only comes with experience, and unlike other top picks from his 2021 draft plass, Kuminga is gaining plenty of that albeit from the sidelines.
Even if he fails to make an influence on this postseason, there were enough signs earlier on to be incredibly excited about Kuminga’s future. It’s a patience game for all involved — coaches, fans, and of course, the man himself.