The Golden State Warriors did something very rare (for them) on Sunday when they lost a game. A 106-102 defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets was just the second loss of the year for the Dubs (in 13 games), but it’s hard to be disappointed. The Warriors shots went cold (as happens), and the close game means their two losses this year have been by a combined seven points.
Predictably, there were some decent and some less-than-stellar performances from Golden State’s players. So let’s grade all of them, weighting for expectations.
32 minutes, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, -8
Green’s scoring continues to be much improved, which seems to be the result of finding the right blend of selective and aggressive. A year after averaging 10.5 points per 100 possessions on 53% true shooting, Green is up to 13 and 57.6%, respectively.
Dray had a few costly turnovers in this contest, but also made his mark defensively, as he tends to do.
32 minutes, 28 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 foul, 12-for-19 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 1-for-3 free throws, -4
After a very slow start to the season, Wiggins’ offense is starting to come around in a big way. It’s still not an every game thing, as Friday was a bit of a clunker for him, but his 28 points on 12-for-19 shooting came after Wednesday’s 35 points on 14-for-19 shooting. The Warriors won’t lose many games when he scores with that volume and efficiency, even if they did on Sunday.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
20 minutes, 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 2-for-4 free throws, -7
The big knock on Looney’s performance on Sunday was two missed free throws with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter.
Even so, it was a good performance for the Dubs’ lone healthy center, who once again found himself in the closing lineup — a reward he’s been earning with very solid play lately.
Looney again made smart decisions offensively, and gobbled up rebounds. And three assists is a reminder as to how well he can fit in the system.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
36 minutes, 24 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 7-for-22 shooting, 3-for-13 threes, 7-for-7 free throws, +14
I often tell people to take single-game plus/minus with a healthy dose of sodium (and I stand by that), but there’s a reason that Curry so frequently leads the team. Even when he’s scoring inefficiently, the team just functions so much better when he’s on the court.
But inefficient he certainly was — we don’t often see the chef have more shooting possessions than points. It was far from all his fault, as he often got struck trying to bail the team out following murky offensive possessions. But it wasn’t a performance he’ll be happy about.
10 assists, however? That’s great. And it’s time to start up a conversation about just how good his defense has been this year.
Post-game bonuses: Led the team in assists and plus/minus.
29 minutes, 13 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 4-for-12 shooting, 2-for-8 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, -8
Just a ho-hum game all around for Poole. He had a few great moments, and a few head-scratchers, and ultimately just didn’t really impact the game much in any way.
10 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 0-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, -5
I don’t envy Steve Kerr the role of doling out minutes on this team, and that’s without Klay Thompson or James Wiseman suiting up. Still, it’s a bit odd to see Bjelica only playing 10 minutes, even if it’s not clear where more minutes should be coming from.
He didn’t seem to find much of a rhythm in this game, and whether that’s the reason for the limited minutes or the product of them is up for debate.
10 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 1-for-3 free throws, +11
And just like that, Kuminga not only has been given a spot in the rotation, but cemented it going forward. He did some pretty special things on Sunday, and most importantly, he held his own on the defensive side of things.
Credit to Kerr for finding a balance between not letting Kuminga sink in the deep end as Wiseman did a year ago, but still giving him a chance to earn a role.
25 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 0-for-1 shooting, -11
You know how I said single-game plus/minus shouldn’t be looked at too closely, yet it’s still no coincidence that Curry is almost always leading the team? The same can be said for Iguodala. The Warriors just play better when he’s on the court.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday. I’d caution against reading into the ugly plus/minus, but it does at least tell part of the story with Iguodala. He simply wasn’t able to have much of an impact in this game, anywhere on the court.
Post-game bonus: Lowest plus/minus on the team.
Otto Porter Jr.
16 minutes, 0 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, +5
It was also a very quiet night for Porter. You expect this to happen with one or two key role players a night, but when it happens for the bulk of the Warriors bench players, it makes it hard for the team to win.
15 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 2-for-10 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, -1
Lee has been a dynamic bench piece this season, but this simply wasn’t his game. Sorry to repeat myself, but hard to win when that happens with the bulk of the bench players.
Gary Payton II
15 minutes, 5 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-3 free throws, -6
Here’s your $1,000 payout for betting a nickel on GP2 and Kuminga being the Warriors best bench players on Sunday.
Sunday’s DNPs: Juan Toscano-Anderson, Moses Moody
Sunday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Jeff Dowtin, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman