August 12, 2022

BOSTON — Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga may have a lot to learn, but his physical gifts can’t be taught. At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan and a 40-inch vertical leap, he’s not just Golden State’s most athletic player — he’s one of the most athletic players in the NBA. .

As Warriors head coach Steve Kerr considered tactical adjustments for Game 4 of the Finals at TD Garden on Friday, he might have found himself thinking about the length, speed and ability of Kuminga jump. If the Celtics have proven anything on their way to a 2-1 series lead, it’s that they’re bigger, stronger and more athletic than Golden State. Giving Kuminga a meaningful run in Game 4, while risky, might have been a smart bet.

His mere presence could give the Warriors a much-needed balance to the high-flying exploits of Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III. Coming out in transition, throwing a few alley-oop dunks, or fighting Brown or Williams on the low block, Kuminga could help Golden State regain some momentum.

Kuminga’s rookie learning curve makes him a starring spot in the Finals a dicey proposition, but Kerr might have little other choice. Sticking to the same rotation that caused the Warriors to lose 16 points in Game 3 would be a lot riskier than giving a 19-year-old a few high-stakes minutes. Kerr needs to turn things around, and he doesn’t have an option available to match the infamous adjustment he made in Game 4 of the 2015 Finals.