Good victory, good defense, awesome Fontecchio yesterday evening for Italy against Estonia. Pozzecco, first tournament match as head coach, seems an enthusiastic motivator and some technical choices were good. Nico 12 pts, 4 ast, some confusion. The team defends really good, but without Gallo our chances are slim. Plus, tonight, there’s Greece with a PF I heard about somewhere.
Can I add how irritating all the pundits who were talking Davion Mitchell for the Warriors at 7. Holy Cow. Such a reprehensible ill-advised take.
I fell in love with Scottie Barnes early in the draft, when it actually seemed like we had a shot at him. And I had Josh Giddy right behind him. After them, I was about even on Wagner & Moody. The closer we got to the draft, the higher Scottie shot up the boards and rightfully so. I saw him as the heir to Draymond, a perfect fit. There goes OKC, and Presti was giddy for Giddy. At this point, I have Wagner and Mu-moe-moo-moo-Moody on my board, and it never occurred to me that JFK would be on the board. I hadn't watched a minute of Kuminga pre-draft because I didn't think we would even see him. So I had to scramble post-draft to get an idea of who he was.
Ahhh, I see the potential. I see the holes. But the G-League is the G League and I postponed any judgement until I saw him in the big leagues. And let's remind ourselves that his first year in the NBA should have been his first year in college.
If the Warriors ranked 26th in overall athleticism in the league (is that too high?), JFK single-handedly pushed them up to 15. I am having trouble coming up with comparisons to his combination of power & speed. Westbrook? Whoever it is, it is a one-handed list that he is on.
JFK is a walking time out. Kerr: "JK, we need a time out." JK: "Okay coach." Next play, drive and a foul, JK to the line, y'all get what we call a free-throw-time-out. If he can shoot 80% at the free throw line, he will average anywhere from 7-9 points a game on free throws alone. Even at 75%, he becomes another team's nightmare. And this is something the Warriors Desperately Seeking Susan needs.
The tools are there. He is surrounded by the best basketball minds in the business. He is immersed in the best bball culture since Duncan-Parker-Ginobili. The sky is the limit with this kid.
What we need to do as DubNation, is visualize what JK needs to do if he wants to be JFK (yes, you heard it here first, Jonathon "Freakin" Kuminga). JK will be a really really good NBA player. But if he wants to ascend into the level currently occupied by the Core, he has to let go of that which he loves most. The basketball.
We all know JK loves to break rims. It's his greatest love. When the ball is in his hands, he can turn into Smeagol (or Gollam), holding his basketball like the precious ring that controlled them all. He calls for it, he cradles it, he caresses it and calls it his "Precious." But if this guy can embrace the Warriors Way, he will become unstoppable. In the Warriors World, the player without the ball is more dangerous. If JK learns this, the Warriors will be unstoppable. The second the ball leaves his hands, en route to another player, is the second that the Red Sea parts and a hole to the rim is created.
The Warriors are the 7-Up of basketball. They are the Un-Cola. The Un-NBA. The Un-Basketball. "Give and ye shall receive" is the Word. Give up the ball and you will get it back!!!!!!!!!
Free throws. Open set 3s. And Give & Gos. I am not going to be worried about defense. That takes longer, we all know once a player has settled into a reliable offensive game his D can improve.
If JK can do this, if he can elevate his handle to JFK, then ho-be-Jesus, we are going to be a nightmare. Scottie Barnes and Giddy were picked before him, so if his only competition was Wagner, Moody, and Sengun, I think Bob had another par for the course awesome Bob Meyers draft.
I'll go with "fair analysis" as well. The Warriors drafted Kuminga to be a star player in the *next* Warriors dynasty, not the current one. All they really need to extend the current dynastic reign was for Klay Thompson to be mostly healthy. and for Wiggins to play like an all-star.
Reading all the comments about Kuminga and his potential for development has me wondering about the ongoing training these guys get (and I guess this is relevant for Wiseman, Moody and the latest batch of recruits). Yes, we all hope and expect the guys to put energy into developing skills in the off-season, no matter how short it is. But with the season running 9+ months long (ideally!) it seems like the young guys should be working on their game all year round. Especially if they are getting limited playing time so the physical demands are not extreme.
The W's have how many coaches? 9? 17? 44? If you have enough coaches I'd expect every single young player (heck, why not all of them) to have 12 month development plans detailed out, as well as coaching staff on hand to make sure that the guys are practicing the right things. When we have more coaches than players (ok, maybe we actually don't have that many) each player should be able to have daily one on one coaching time. At least that's what I'd do if I was running an insanely wealthy team and I cared about investing in/developing all my players.
I think from a talent perspective, I'm all in for the pick of Kuminga at #7. Even if he doesn't turn out, you take your shot at the ring, right?
That said, I could imagine other picks in that spot whose ceiling is clearly not as high but who might be willing to fit in with the core. I get the feeling that Kuminga isn't all that excited about that, and given that the core could go 2-3 more years, that's looking like it could be a problem. If so, that's too bad. I would really like to see him star with the Warriors. But the runway may be too long for his taste.
The case of Jordan Poole should be instructive. He has worked hard on his game and fit in where he could, and now, they may start to form the team around him. He's become that good and that important. I wish Kuminga would do the same. He's talented enough to force them to reconfigure -- and that would be better than sulking or seething.
Watching Italy vs Estonia: man, Fontecchio (Jazz next season) has range! 5/6 3p at halftime, two 30 footers.
I think in this coming season JK can already be impactful as an offensive finisher; cuts, short rolls, transition attacks. Biggest question is can he hit spot up 3s enough to play the 4 next to the likes of Dray/Loon/Wise. Otherwise, dunno how much he can play next to another non-shooter.
I already expect the defense to improve with experience.
For longer term and star potential, the handle needs to improve enough where he can be a real playmaker with the ball. If he can run some competent PnR, he'll be a terror with how he can draw fouls.
Then of course general improvement with the shooting, FT and 3pt.
I enjoyed the comments in the Kuminga and Curry off-ball E1P. Keep up the good work, Eric!
Curious to see what Kuminga has added to his game this off-season. The guys who are going to be great tend to make big leaps on their own time in the first few years. He had exciting flashes as a rookie. Let’s find out if he’s going to be great or just talented. So far Wagner and Moody seem like they would have been perfect for this team, and the Warriors seeming to have gone that direction with this year’s draft looks like a bit of a nod in that direction too.
I think I've been one of the more obnoxious Kuminga fanbois on this site or maybe anywhere. ChaosSamedi, where are you, you too. The reason for this is *not* that I don't see Kuminga's flaws. As the article notes, in every game he does head-scratching things.
But this is to be expected. As we know, he's 19 and did not play in the same developmental systems as a lot of pros.
That doesn't tell us he necessarily will develop now, nor does it say he won't. Yet I think no one would deny the astonishing potential here. His athleticism, his flashes of brilliant play, his potential to be stellar on both offense and defense, are already evident. So I would say that by far the only question with Kuminga is rate of development. It can go super fast from here, it can proceed slowly, or it can never happen. The most likely answer is ... frustratingly slow.
But one of my frustrations regarding Kuminga is named in the article: Kerr being so conservative with his PT. I hope that will jump this year to a steady 15-20 minutes, nightly. Kuminga will learn a lot, and so will we. One thing I've noticed is that he seems to play to the level of challenge. He looks disengaged sometimes, isn't trying to go all out in summer league or in garbage time. Let's throw him in the pool, see if he can swim.
With regard to draft position, I think it's all dependent on this question of his development moving forward. At worst, he's a bust -- but I doubt it. Yet at best, he is the single best player in that draft class, and could reach MVP level play. Yep, I'm a fanboi...
(Not at all off topic) And I quote:
“despite this year being a particularly neurotic and whiny year on Dub Nation”
Us neurotic and whiny? Sir, don’t you understand thoughtful hard-edged analysis, a willingness to listen to and study all sides of an issue, the immediate over-reaction that is bread and high-fat European style butter to digital cognoscenti, the fear and desperation that even a 2 game losing streak inspires, the mental and emotional damage (documented in several high profile Harvard Medical School studies) that comes from repeated rosterbation, and the worry that today’s E1P will fail to cover the marvelous but hard to follow “triple split reverse outside Lembacher action” from last night’s game? Oh, the humanity! <Curls up into a ball and has a good cry>
Another good summary and utterly fair evaluation of JK.
I was delighted when we picked him (though I would have been happy with Wagner as well) and even more thrilled to have Moody fall to us at 14. And I’m perfectly satisfied with the progress of the rookies. My expectations were low both for their ability to contribute to Kerrball and the likelihood that they’d get anything other than garbage time on the court. So my expectations were far surpassed. And they were fun!! to watch. I bet this grade for Kuminga goes up steadily the next few years.
I would have preferred Moody at #7 but obviously that was dumb since they got him at #14. I would have also preferred Wagner at #7 and I still feel pretty strongly about that. I still think both of those guys have more potential than Kuminga as of right now, am willing to reassess after this season.
But if Kuminga ends up a top 10 player in the class which I think is possible, it'd be hard to get too mad at the pick unless one of the guys drafted right behind him like Wagner, Mitchell, Williams, or Bouknight really ascend to superstardom. Warriors drafted Klay over Kawhi but no one really cares because Klay is really good.
I'm glad we picked Kuminga, but I'm hoping to see some pretty significant growth this season.
I personally was not all that impressed with what I've seen this summer. He dominated at school yard ball in summer league and FIBA. But, I think his deficiencies are more about how to play in the Warriors system (like knowing where to be and when to rotate on defense), so I was a little disappointed that I didn't see any work that seemed to be aimed at that.
I could be wrong (frequently am), and am really hoping we see some improved understanding of the system, so that he can stay on the floor.
I haven't decided about Kuminga yet. He could either go down as an all-time great or "potential unrealized." The talent is there, and it was cool to see flashes of it last year. I think it all comes down to his work ethic. If he works hard, he could be huge.
I am very, very happy with Moses Moody. I'm hoping he and Poole will push Kuminga.