Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Bucks game streaming live at 6:30 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.
Alfonzo McKinnie surprised everybody with his tremendous start to the season. Over the Warriors' first 16 games, he averaged 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting over 51 percent from the field and 48.4 percent from 3-point range.
He was then sidelined for nine games because of left foot soreness.
"Sometimes it's not a bad thing for a young guy like Alfonzo to sit on the sidelines for a couple weeks and watch what's unfolding -- especially since he's been out there already in the early going," Steve Kerr explained to Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game. "You want him to understand the layers to the offense.
"Every play we run has a first option but if you break it down there's second and third options that you can get to, so we're trying to point those things out.
"As well as personnel dynamics. Part of being an NBA player is you need to know every single night what you're opponent is doing ... those are the kinds of things that we're trying to get 'Zo to be aware of."
McKinnie returned on Wednesday night against the Cavs and immediately made an impact. He only scored five points but he grabbed five rebounds in just 13 minutes, including two on the offensive end.
Welcome back Alfonzo McKinnie (the Warriors certainly missed his energy and offensive rebounding) pic.twitter.com/huGFStGjHW— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) December 6, 2018
"He gained us about four or five extra possessions -- at both ends -- a couple of offensive rebounds and then a couple of loose balls at the defensive end that he scrambled for," Kerr added. "And you have to have that."
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller