Miami Heat: Kendrick Nunn is flourishing into a star

Kendrick Nunn #25 of the Miami Heat is announced before the game against the Washington Wizards(Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kendrick Nunn #25 of the Miami Heat is announced before the game against the Washington Wizards(Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Following a difficult journey to the NBA, rookie combo guard Kendrick Nunn is currently playing like a star for the contending Miami Heat. We love to see it.

Kendrick Nunn of the Miami Heat initially struggled to receive a chance to play at the NBA level. After going undrafted, Kendrick Nunn would spend time on the Golden State Warriors G League squad. Despite performing exceptionally well in the G League, the Warriors would never allow Nunn the opportunity to debut in the National Basketball Association.

However, the Miami Heat saw a diamond in the rough with Kendrick Nunn, thus signing the Chicago native to a contract at the end of the 2019 NBA season. The 24-year-old had a lot to prove due to being passed up in the draft because of a previous domestic violence situation.

Kendrick Nunn had proven himself as an effective scorer at nearly every single level, including high school, college, and the G League. Following an impressive showing during summer league, training camp, and preseason, Coach Spo rewarded Kendrick Nunn with the starting point guard spot to begin the 2019-20 NBA campaign.

Miami Heat
Miami Heat /

Miami Heat

Safe to say, Kendrick Nunn has not looked back since earning that starting point guard role for the Miami Heat. The hungry Nunn has emerged into arguably one of the best rookies in the entire NBA. In fact, Kendrick Nunn perhaps has been the second-best NBA rookie during the 2019-20 season, trailing only the 2nd overall pick Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, if you ask me.

While starting in all 44 regular-season games for the Heat, Kendrick Nunn has produced a sensational slash line of 16.2 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, and 2.8 rebounds per game. Moreover, Kendrick Nunn has registered relatively decent efficiency numbers for a rookie as well.

Thus far, Nunn has recorded a 46.1 field goal percentage, a 35.6 three-point percentage, and an 83.1 free throw percentage on the season. Nunn also currently leads all rookies in total three-point baskets, averaging exactly two made threes per contest.

In addition, Kendrick Nunn has done a tremendous job in terms of handling the ball and limiting the turnovers. Considering the Miami Heat are one of the league leaders in turnovers per game, Nunn is only averaging 1.8 turnovers per game while playing in 30.6 minutes a night.

If you really want to take a pessimistic view of it, the only area of improvement that’s absolutely needed to take Nunn’s game to the next level would be his defensive game. While Kendrick Nunn can certainly score and create, he can sometimes be exposed on the defensive end and especially when opposing teams get him involved in their pick and roll action.

Nunn must work on consistently staying with the man he is guarding and contesting every single shot attempt. Nevertheless, Kendrick does perform an adequate job in terms of creating turnovers, averaging approximately one steal per game on the season.

While he does have some flaws as a rookie, we should acknowledge how dominant he has looked in a starting role. Nunn has been quite consistent and will likely win the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Award for the third consecutive month.

Next. The Miami Heat went from not having enough to having too much. dark

In a year full of surprises, the Miami Heat organization and its fans should be thrilled with the growth and development of budding star point guard Kendrick Nunn. If he can continue to play at his current rate, then the Heat will likely clinch a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference at worst, thus earning Nunn strong consideration for the Rookie of the Year Award by season’s end.