Miami Heat rookie guard Kendrick Nunn has had a solid rookie campaign, but the grind of taking the court for more games than ever before eventually caught up with him during the course of the season.
Nunn had started all 62 of the games he had appeared in for the Heat during the 2019-20 season by the time play was shut down on March 11. That marked a major increase in games from his previous seasons and led to him getting worn down.
“There was a time in this season where I felt my body had hit a wall,” Nunn said, “and that’s just because I wasn’t used to playing that many games.”
Last season, Nunn played 49 games from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League and never played more than 35 games in a season at the collegiate level.
While Nunn would much rather have been playing in the NBA instead of for Santa Cruz, he’s grateful for the training ground that was provided and the experience he gained.
“Spending one year in the G League helped me prepare for my role in the NBA in a tremendous way,” Nunn said. “Just spending that one full year in the G League and getting familiar with the professional level of basketball helped me prepare for a starting role with the Miami Heat.”
In those 62 games, Nunn has averaged 15.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game, sitting out three games because of an Achilles issue.
Nunn’s presence in the Heat lineup is part of the team’s resurgence this season, which saw it compile a 41-24 record, a record that has it destined for the postseason when the season likely resumes.
Having been able to get some rest during the long layoff, Nunn has learned his lesson about preparing for the increased workload. That education will no doubt benefit the Heat in the years ahead.