Steve Kerr offers assessment of Jonathan Kuminga’s first career start

Golden State Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga turned in a career performance on Saturday in his first start during a loss on the road to the Toronto Raptors.

Kuminga produced a career-high 26 points, two assists, two steals and one rebound in 36 minutes of work during the 119-100 loss. He finished by shooting 9-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, which was a season-high.

The Warriors turned to Kuminga with several players out, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole among others. His 26 points were a team-high as he made the most of his newfound opportunity with the short-handed Warriors.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered his assessment of Kuminga’s night.

JK is a dynamic athlete. He is powerful, explosive. He can get downhill so you see the potential. It was great to see him knock down some 3-point shots – that is going to be a big part of his development. He has gotta get more than one rebound in 36 minutes, especially with that kind of athletic ability and frame.

He had six turnovers so he kinda showed how talented he is, how young he is, how high his ceiling is and how far he has to go all in one night but that is the whole point of getting him reps. It was fun to see him out there.

The performance by Kuminga was by far his best of the season and it happened to come in a featured role. He flashed his overall skillset and showed why he was so highly touted as a high draft pick coming into the NBA this year.

Of course, Kuminga had some rookie mistakes throughout the game as Kerr eluded to. The team knows that those will come as he works to play on a consistent basis either with Golden State or in the NBA G League with Santa Cruz.

Kuminga wanted to come in and just play as hard as he could.

Basically, I knew I was going to get a lot of minutes today (because) we didn’t have a lot of guys. With that being said, I had to just come out here and play as hard as I could. I have to play hard for me to get those minutes because if I was going out there and didn’t do what I need to do, they were going to take me out right away so I had to just go out there and play hard.

Kerr has often said this season that Kuminga will be in mostly a developmental role with playing time limited with Golden State. The team will continue to utilize him in the G League but performances like the one on Saturday offer a glimpse into what he can become.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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