Sometimes my job is more fun than other times. Trying to grade papers for a Golden State Warriors team that simply chose not to show up to the American Airlines Center (perhaps a show of support for Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, who had his jersey retired?), is one of the latter times.
This isn’t a fun article to write, nor is it a fun article for you to read, so let’s trudge through it together. Let’s try and go quickly, even though you technically can’t trudge quickly.
I’m off to a great start already.
As always, grades are weighted based on our expectations for the players.
32 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, -3
Draymond is known for having about the same number of points, rebounds, and assists in his games, with about half as many steals and blocks. He followed that formula in this game, just dialed down to about 40%.
In a game where the Dubs offense was the worst it’s been all year, the only silver linings can be on the other end of the floor, and Green was still a good defender.
More turnovers than assists, though, is rough.
33 minutes, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 foul, 7-for-13 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 1-for-4 free throws, -9
As a team, the Dubs had a true-shooting percentage of just 46.6%. But Wiggins, their leading scorer, had a true-shooting percentage of 57.6%.
That’s probably the only bright spot from this god forsaken game, so let’s return to our regularly-scheduled negativity ... players not named “Andrew Wiggins” had a collective true-shooting percentage of 44.4%.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
21 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, +5
Mr. Reliable was once again reliable. His presence wasn’t needed quite as much in this game as in some previous ones, since Dallas doesn’t have the biggest, most imposing, or even most talented center (all respect to Stanford legend Dwight Powell), but he still did his job and did it well.
36 minutes, 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-24 shooting, 1-for-9 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 0 +/-
Curry is still doing a lot of good things. His defense is some of the best it’s ever been, as is his rebounding. He’s making some great passes, though he had an awful turnover for every great pass in this contest.
But his scoring, the thing that will take him to the Hall of Fame as one of the 10 greatest players in NBA history, has currently abandoned him. Over the last two games he has a combined 23 points on 8-for-41 shooting, including 2-for-19 from three-point range. I think it’s safe to say this is the worst two-game shooting stretch of his career.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
Gary Payton II
24 minutes, 11 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-5 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, +7
You can choose between Wiggins and Payton for player of the game. No one else deserves consideration. A double-double, without missing a shot, all with that defense that just might earn him an All-Defense nod now that he’s getting regular minutes?
Thank goodness the Warriors didn’t lose this guy.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and plus/minus.
14 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-5 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, -10
As is always the case with Bjeli, he did a lot of good things (side note: I initially consumed this game via Dallas’ radio [I was traveling]), and I’m fairly certain they did not pronounce Bjelica’s name the same way once all night. The most egregious attempt was “GEL-ee-kuh”).
Anyway, despite those good things, he took more than a shot per point, and wasn’t able to give a spark from the bench. No one was!
12 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, -13
The good for Kuminga: he made all four of his free throws, despite entering the game just 22-for-39 from the charity stripe, and having not attempted a free throw since his rough 3-for-10 day three games back.
The bad for Kuminga: he looked a bit overmatched on defense, and had one foul every four minutes.
20 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, -15
JTA was the closest thing the Warriors had to some energy and spark off the bench. He did everything well, though in the absence of other good bench performances, the Warriors could have done with him doing more ... but that’s hardly his fault.
19 minutes, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, -14
Decent shooting, but otherwise a performance that wasn’t of note for Lee. That’s pretty much the entire bench ... and team.
2 minutes, 2 points, 1-for-1 shooting, -4
Garbage time, but hey, he shot 100% from the field!
24 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-8 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, -21
On Monday, the Warriors won despite an awful Curry shooting night in large part because Poole was an electric and unstoppable force off the bench. On Wednesday, the Warriors lost an awful Curry shooting night in part because Poole was not.
That’s not to blame JP. The Dubs are a championship contender; they should not have to be reliant on a third-year bench player’s contributions (and, for the most part, they’re not). It’s more a reminder that when things aren’t working as normal, a superstar performance can cover up a lot ... and there was no superstar performance tonight.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
Moses Moody and Chris Chiozza
2 minutes, 0 points, -4
Identical garbage-time stat lines.
Wednesday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala (could’ve used him), Otto Porter Jr. (could’ve used him), Klay Thompson (could’ve used him), James Wiseman (could’ve used him).