Kuminga shines in Warriors win over Blazers; Coach Kerr's rotations still in flux
The Hall-of-Fame coach confirms he's still thinking through which roster combinations work together.
The Golden State Warriors got their 10th win of the season, overcoming the Portland Trail Blazers 110-106. Steph Curry led the way with 31 points, but it was an exciting night from third-year man Jonathan Kuminga that caught the attention of the NBA world.
There’s been a lot of talk in Dub Nation, specifically here at the HQ, about Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s rotations, especially in regards to how he’s utilizing the younger players outside of the All-Star core. Over the years we’ve seen him battle with trying to find time to play guys like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody.
Wiseman’s gone, Kuminga was missing out of the playoff rotation last season after having a strong regular season, and Moody often time finds himself rooted to the bench from Kerr decisions. Remember this headline from the end of November?
And here’s the quote from Kerr who put Kuminga in after leaving him on the bench for the first half:
Jonathan Kuminga finally checked into the game for the first time with 4:45 left in the third quarter. He hadn’t even been in coach Steve Kerr’s pregame plans against Portland, not expected to be part of the rotation given how hard it is for Kerr balancing all the minutes on a deep roster.
“He was great, he was the key to the game, he stayed ready. He was out of the rotation just because it's hard to play 10 guys," Kerr said about Kuminga. “... We obviously needed him. The game called for JK, just with Portland’s youth and athleticism we needed to be able to match that.”
Kerr had another quote last night about his rotations, showing how transparently curious he is about finding what works:
"I think that's a great point and we talk about it every day," Kerr said. "I've really been patient and hoping to get our first unit from the last couple years into a good groove. It's just easier to play and to coach when everybody knows exactly where they fit in. And roleplayers, it's easier to play a role when there's kind of a set rotation and the stars are playing well. So the puzzle kind of fits.
"Honestly the puzzle hasn't fit this year and we've had a lot of guys play well but we might have to think about moving the starting lineup around game to game depending on who we're facing. I'd still prefer to get something solid but we haven't really established anything this year and we're a quarter of the way through, so there's definitely a lot of thought that's going to have to go into this."
So I ask you HQ, what are your thoughts on Kerr’s rotations right now?