Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has singled out Jonathan Kuminga as one of the players who can make a real impact this season, after another impressive preseason showing against the Kings.
“One of the big things that we’ve talked to JK about is, you know, we’re not the most athletic team,” Kerr said after Golden State’s 115-121 win over Sacramento on Sunday. “We’re a very skilled team, but we don’t get to the line a ton. We were near the bottom of the league last year. So if he can attack and get to the rim and get to the foul line, that makes us a better team.”
For the third consecutive preseason game, Kuminga had the team high in points.
In their first game he recorded 24 points, in their second it was 26 and in a game where Chris Paul and Steph Curry didn’t participate, Kuminga took the reigns and bagged 28 points.
Although he only made 38.9 percent of his shots from the field, the young rising star shot 17 free throws on 76.5 percent, but his goal is to be higher.
“Percentage-wise, I want to be above 75,” Kuminga told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think that’s the goal, and I’m working towards that every single day. I feel like, to me, it’s not mechanic. It’s just trust in all the process throughout the free-throw time.
“I’ve been more patient and trusting every single little rep, every single detail on my free throws.”
Like Kerr, Kuminga’s teammate Moses Moody understands the importance of the free throw line for a player like JK.
“Really important, just because he puts so much pressure on the rim,” Moody said. “He puts the pressure on the defenders. When he goes straight into their chest, it’s hard not to foul him sometimes, especially with him being so explosive. That’s a big thing for us because you can’t always score every possession, but you can go down and get fouls and get to the free-throw line and it’s the same thing.”
It will be interesting to see how Kerr plays Kuminga, since he has a host of veterans to contend with minutes-wise.