Inexcusable aspect haunting Warriors' forward's growing game

NBA : New York Knicks vs Golden Gate Warriors in San Francisco
NBA : New York Knicks vs Golden Gate Warriors in San Francisco / Anadolu/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors' season took another turn for the worst on Monday night, falling to an injury-hit New York Knicks in a 119-112 defeat at Chase Center.

Jonathan Kuminga once again flashed his scoring ability with an efficient 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting, yet the third-year forward was benched over the last five minutes as Steve Kerr hunted a way back into the game.

Jonathan Kuminga's rebounding has been an inexcusable facet the Golden State Warriors' forward must improve upon

The 21-year-old has utilized his elite athleticism to develop into the Warriors' second-best scorer over recent months, with Kuminga having emerged as one of the league's most dominant forces when attacking the rim.

However, the former seventh overall pick has failed to consistently use that athleticism in other areas of his game. Specifically his rebounding, an aspect that's starting to haunt his otherwise growing stature.

Kuminga had one total rebound in nearly 26 minutes of playing time against the Knicks. That's totally inexcusable for a starting power-forward, but it's also a trend the rising star needs to quickly address.

Jonathan Kuminga, Tre Jones
Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Kuminga's last five games consist of three, five, four, two and one rebound -- a total of 15 boards in over 150 minutes of play. Despite being an elite rebounding team this season, Golden State still need far greater presence from their young forward.

It's not as if he's not capable, with Kuminga having recorded four games of 10+ rebounds this season. His solitary board on Monday was an impressive one over Draymond Green and a pair of Knick players, proving this is a mental issue rather than a physical one.

Kuminga's proven himself as a 20-point scorer, yet in a league as talented as it is today, that alone doesn't make a star player. His athleticism is at the absolute top echelon, and not using it for more than scoring purposes is nothing short of a waste.

If nothing else, Monday's game showcased that Kuminga has a long way to go with plenty to improve upon. That in itself is exciting, with Kuminga capable of becoming a high-level rebounder and far more consistent defender than what he's currently producing.