Despite their best efforts to lose, the Golden State Warriors got back to their winning ways on Sunday night, besting the Sacramento Kings 130-125 to move to 2-1 on the season.
Now let’s grade each player to see how they did. As always, grades are weighted based on my expectations for each player.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) last year was 56.6%.
28 minutes, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 71.7% TS, +17
Early returns on Green’s scoring are very good. He looks healthier and more athletic than he has in years, and the result is some offensive aggression that’s been missing since the first stage of the dynasty.
D R Y— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 24, 2022
Take a three-game sample size with huge amounts of salt, but Green is averaging his most points per 36 minutes since 2017-18, and the highest true-shooting percentage of his career. We know he’s a good screener, an elite passer, and someone who understands how to play with Steph Curry better than any other player ever has.
He’ll never be a big-time scorer, but if he can keep this up, he goes from being an offensive question mark to a massive asset.
Not as good of a defensive game as the first two, but I’m excited about the scoring.
32 minutes, 24 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, 10-for-19 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 59.1% TS, +14
Wiggins is playing the best basketball of his career. Better than how he played in the first half of last year, earning him a trip to the All-Star Game. Better than he played in the NBA Finals, when he locked down Jayson Tatum.
His offense is aggressive and reasoned, but most importantly, it’s quick. He’s making quick decisions. The ball-holding and stagnating is gone. He’s getting into actions quickly and confidently.
Coming in hot— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 24, 2022
The defense is still quite good, and the rebounding remains aggressive. Just an amazing start to the season for him.
25 minutes, 6 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 3 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 free throws, 61.5% TS, +18
Looney was surely excited to go from defending reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokić on Friday to the suddenly-struggling Domantas Sabonis on Sunday, and it showed in his play.
After finally getting his flowers a season ago, Looney seems to be playing the best basketball of his career, too. His offense has taken a step forward ... he’s never going to score a ton, but he’s becoming a factor on that end of the court. The playmaking was ridiculous in this game, and he’s learning to roll to the ideal spot so that he can set up teammates.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and assists.
31 minutes, 33 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 11-for-22 shooting, 7-for-12 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 69.4% TS, +19
Had the Warriors reserves not spent the second half trying desperately to undo the lead that the starters had built up, the only story of the game would have been Curry’s magnificent second quarter.
He was, as he so often is, the greatest show on earth, scoring 21 points in the frame, and leading the Warriors to a 50-point quarter.
33 PTS | 11-22 FG | 7-12 3FG— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 24, 2022
Stephen got buckets on #WarriorsGround @UAbasketball || Second Look pic.twitter.com/qb1R5dIVqq
Remember last year, when Curry’s three-point shot was off to start the season and some people made the silly mistake of wondering if he was falling off? He’s shooting 44.4% to start the year, and has 133% as many threes as the next-most prolific marksman in the league.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and plus/minus.
27 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 3-for-10 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 40.0% TS, +15
Pretty rough game for Klay, but we should expect a few of those. He was really stagnant on offense ... not sure if it’s that he’s not yet in game shape or what, but he hasn’t been moving off ball like he used to. A lot of standing around and waiting for the ball.
Defensively, it was a really difficult game for him. He just didn’t have it.
It’s been less than a year since he returned from two major lower body injuries, and he didn’t scrimmage this offseason or most of training camp. Give it a little time.
7 minutes, 4 points, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.4% TS, -11
After two stinkers to start the season, Kuminga lost his rotation minutes in this one, as Moses Moody took his spot in the second unit. After Donte DiVincenzo was injured, and it seemed like the Warriors were about to coast to victory, Kuminga was re-inserted into the bench unit.
It didn’t go super well. This Steve Kerr quote felt pretty squarely directed at him, Moody, and James Wiseman.
Steve Kerr called an angry timeout after this transition layup in the fourth quarter.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 24, 2022
"You got a group of reserves out there and those guys should be dying to be on the floor and flying around and playing with huge energy and that was what I was upset about." pic.twitter.com/KSJ8RreuDg
The future is immensely bright for Kuminga. But the present is marred by poor defense, poor decision-making, and offensive tunnel vision.
13 minutes, 3 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 52.1% TS, -5
I kind of feel for Green, a proven veteran who’s currently getting stuck playing mostly with a god-awful second unit while the Dubs try to figure things out. So far Green has been totally serviceable in a Warriors jersey ... nothing special, nothing problematic either. Right now that feels like a bummer because the bench is struggling, but if they figure things out it will look like a big positive.
20 minutes, 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 4-for-6 free throws, 72.6% TS, -10
The Warriors bench is truly awful right now, but at least Wiseman gave fans something to smile about. Most impressive in this game was his ability to move to the right part of the floor. In his rookie year, he would either gravitate as close to the hoop as possible or out to the three-point line ... now he’s moving to the open spot where he can operate, choosing to put himself in a position to shoot an open eight-footer over a contested four-footer.
The result is not just that Wiseman is scoring with great efficiency, but his playmaking is improving too, as he’s giving himself angles.
There are still a lot of questions marks, as will likely be the case for a long time. His hands leave a lot to be desired, and his defense is truly awful right now ... which you expect from a center in his 42nd career game. I wanted to give him a grade starting with an A, but the aforementioned critical soundbite from Kerr was clearly made with one eye towards Wiseman.
11 minutes, 4 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.4% TS, -1
I remain convinced that DiVincenzo will look like one of the steals off the offseason by the time the year is over, but it’s going to take a while to get there. His first three games have been mediocre, and now he’s shelved for at least a week with a strained hamstring.
He was far from electric in this game, but it was his best performance since joining the Warriors.
27 minutes, 24 points, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-14 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 7-for-9 free throws, 66.8% TS, -18
Ahhh, there’s the JP we know and love! After two rough games to start the year, Poole was back to his old ways on Sunday, with the type of performance that made us all fall in love with his game ... and made the Warriors invest nine figures in him.
His inside-out game was electric. He used his brilliance at breaking down defenders to get to the rim, then cat-and-moused them to get open threes, and then, when they started trying to take those away, blew past them for easier buckets.
JP3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/Arl0pYsiit— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 24, 2022
Poole’s defense was rough, but not all that concerning giving his position. If the wings and bigs behind him don’t play horribly on that end of the court, he’s just fine. If it hadn’t been for his offense, the second unit might’ve actually lost the game.
Keep an eye on the Poole-Wiseman two-man game. It’s developing.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
18 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 54.4% TS, -8
Moody took over Kuminga’s spot in the second unit, which I emphatically think is the right move. That said, this just wasn’t a particularly good game for him. His no-mistakes offensive game can be great at times, but also leads to him disappearing when the team is sinking, which happened on Sunday. And his pretty solid defense just wasn’t all that good this time around. He joined the other youngsters in the second unit by looking lethargic.
1 minute, 0 points, -5
We were all expecting more Rollins given the 20-point lead the Warriors built up, but alas, the second unit couldn’t hold it, and there wasn’t any garbage time. The few possessions that Rollins was on the court for were pretty rough though, as he got destroyed on defense.
Sunday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Sunday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Anthony Lamb