The Warriors lost a close one to the Nuggets on Tuesday, with rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga missing a late attempt near the bucket that would have tied the score.
But after the game, Kuminga’s teammates and coaches were singing his praises, not browbeating him for his missed shot.
Coach Steve Kerr said that he’s one of the best athletes in the NBA, for example. Superstar guard Stephen Curry had his own praise for the 19-year-old rookie, the No. 7 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, calling Kuminga (6-foot-7, 220 pounds) confident and quick to attack the opposing defense.
“You can tell by the way he’s built, he’s going to attack, he’s going to play his game,” Curry said of Kuminga. “He’s got confidence in himself, which you love. And it’s a great experience, it’s great reps, because that could be like a playoff situation where, based on matchups, based on reads, he could be out there in a big moment. You never know what’s going to happen the rest of the season.”The Athletic
With Kuminga’s elite athleticism, he has a skill/attribute that the Warriors need, especially during the playoffs. Curry seems to know that since he looked ahead to how Kuminga could “be out there in a big moment” during the postseason.
If Kuminga does help during the postseason, his rookie season will end up being a smashing success. With Kuminga’s age and inexperience, it was reasonable to assume he wouldn’t help at all this season, but he’s already ahead of schedule. Ideally for Kerr and Curry, Kuminga makes his next shot when the game is on the line, no matter how difficult it is. Still, the entire franchise has to be happy with the rookie’s progress thus far and with his potential to impact big games down the line.