Jonathan Kuminga says it’s tough to lock in and smile amid little playing time for Golden State Warriors in NBA Playoffs

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga gave an honest response about his lack of playing time for the Warriors in the NBA Playoffs.

After playing in 67 games during the regular season and averaging 20.8 minutes per game, Kuminga has appeared in just six playoff games, averaging 6.0 minutes per game.

“It’s tough going through this season and being in (the game) most of the time and then things just flip out of nowhere without you knowing what’s going on,” Kuminga told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Warriors have opted for a lot of smaller lineups in the playoffs, playing guards Donte DiVincenzo, Gary Payton II and youngster Moses Moody in their first two series against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers.

Even though the Warriors needed size against the Lakers and Anthony Davis in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, they opted to use veteran JaMychal Green over Kuminga off the bench. Green didn’t play much, but he did score six points in the loss.

Golden State has primarily used Draymond Green and Kevon Looney down low this postseason.

“It’s still tough to lock in every single time,” Kuminga said. “It’s still tough to smile every single time. But knowing where I’ve come from, seeing how many things that I’ve actually been through that a lot of people don’t know that got me to this point. … I feel like throughout my career, throughout my life, I’ve never been given anything. I’ve seen so many people just get handed stuff. That’s never happened to me.”

It’s possible that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr could end up getting Kuminga into the rotation, but it seems like he won’t do it unless there is a favorable matchup.

The most minutes Kuminga has played this postseason came in Game 3 of the first round against the Kings, with Green suspended for that contest after stepping on Domantas Sabonis.

In that game, Kuminga had 13 minutes of playing time, and he scored six points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field. The former first-round pick also added two rebounds, one assist and one steal in that game.

It’s understandable that Kuminga is frustrated by his lack of playing time since he wants to contribute to the team’s playoff run, but Golden State has won four NBA titles under Kerr for a reason.

Kuminga was a part of the team that won the NBA Finals last season, and he didn’t have a huge role in that run either, playing an average of 8.6 minutes per game in the 2022 playoffs, though he did make three starts.

The Warriors are focused on winning another title this season, and it will be interesting to see if they can sneak Kuminga into the rotation as the postseason goes on.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.