Well, that wasn’t a fun or good game, but you could certainly make the case that it was entertaining. The Golden State Warriors played their first road game of the season on Tuesday and got smacked by the Phoenix Suns, losing 134-105 in a game that was chippy, feisty, and had a playoff feel.
Now let’s jump into it and grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage last year was 56.6%.
29 minutes, 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 5 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-10 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 70.0% TS, -17
I remain really excited about Green’s scoring, and will continue to be until it slows down. He simply looks so much more like 2017-18 Draymond on that end of the court right now.
He also was one of the few players on the team that showed any interest in playing defense. There were bumps in his game — he can’t be turning the ball over that much, or it starts to negate some of that scoring he’s doing — but on the whole, Dray was one of the few Warriors who played quite well.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
31 minutes, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 fouls, 7-for-17 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 47.1% TS, -25
I’ve been singing Wiggins’ praises through the first week of the season, and for good reasons. His first three games were special. Unfortunately, his fourth game was pretty bad.
Wiggins’ defense was very weak in this game, and his offense was less efficient than in the first three contests. There wasn’t much flow to his game on either end of the court, as his offense was clunky and stagnant, and his defense was slow.
Here’s hoping he bounces back on Thursday.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
17 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 100.0% TS, -4
It’s never a good sign when your plus/minus leader has a negative figure, but Looney is awarded that unfortunate distinction tonight. Looney played decently. His defense on Deandre Ayton was good, and he once again showed an awesome ability to playmake, by moving to the right spots, and passing well when there. He has 15 assists in just 82 minutes this season!
But his grade gets bumped due to foul trouble. If the Warriors are prioritizing wins (which, admittedly, they’re only half doing), then Looney needs to be playing more minutes than James Wiseman. But that won’t happen if he can’t stay on the floor.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
30 minutes, 21 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 7-for-17 shooting, 4-for-9 threes, 3-for-5 free throws. 54.7% TS, -17
Curry’s worst scoring game of the season — both in terms of output and efficiency — unfortunately came on the same night that Devin Booker was lighting the nets on fire.
Still, Steph did a lot of things well ... he reminded everyone that he’s one of the best pound-for-pound rebounders in the league, and he displayed some improved care of the ball, with 8 assists to 1 turnover.
But we should have known this game would be funny when he missed a pair of free throws.
Curry had a rough defensive game, and his shooting was not up to par ... it’s not often we see him score with below league average efficiency.
An off day for Curry is still better than most player’s greatest days, but it still was something of an off day for him.
Also: this was great to see.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
19 minutes, 2 points, 2 assists, 1 block, 3 fouls, 1-for-8 shooting, 0-for-5 threes, 12.5% TS, -12
A super tough game for Klay. By the time he got ejected for mixing it up with Booker, he’d already cemented a bad game. Bad shooting. Bad creation. Bad defense.
The one potential for Klay to get a grade boost was if his ejection rallied the troops. Instead, it did the opposite, as it energized the Suns, who went on an 11-0 run. All in all, Phoenix outscored Golden State 51-28 after Thompson’s ejection.
I’m not worried about Klay, and you shouldn’t be either. But that doesn’t mean the growing pains are fun.
Still, he avoids getting an F grade because of this:
15 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 41.0% TS, -13
Kuminga didn’t play in the first half as the Warriors continue to play with rotations. He got plenty of play in the second half, between Steve Kerr pressing buttons trying to find something that would work, and Kerr waiving the white flag.
Unfortunately, JK was plagued by the same things that have been issues for him in each game. Namely, tunnel vision on offense and really rough defense.
17 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, -10
The more I watch Green, the more it becomes clear to me that he’s the type of player who will look really good on a team that’s playing well, and really bad on a team that isn’t.
The Warriors will live with that, as they intend on being great when all is said and done. And I’m sure Green will look a lot better when paired with the veterans in win-now lineups, which will arrive at some point this season.
18 minutes, 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 foul, 5-for-8 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 67.6% TS, -19
I’m not sure what to make of Wiseman’s game. The Warriors gave him a bit of run with the starters, which was good to see, as that should help his development. If the team is going to continue trying to balance the two timelines, I’d like to see more of that.
He scored a good amount of points on good efficiency (that’s good), but made some pretty big errors on that side of the court (that’s bad). He managed to only foul one time (that’s good), but generally played some painful to watch defense (that’s bad).
That’s the Wiseman experience right now. Lots of good, lots of bad; lots of reasons for optimism, lots of reasons for pessimism.
12 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, -8
Jerome was active for the first time this season, thanks to Donte DiVincenzo’s injury. He played briefly in the first half, then the rest of his minutes came in garbage time.
It’s not clear how the Warriors plan on using him. Kerr mentioned his playmaking when the Dubs signed Jerome, but he didn’t really get any playing time with the ball in his hands in this game.
Ultimately, Jerome is likely a filler, and he did that job well enough on Tuesday.
27 minutes, 17 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 5 fouls, 6-for-12 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 61.8% TS, -15
It was a tale of two halves for JP. He showed out with some stylistic moves in the first half. But in the second half, when the Warriors were starting to sink (and their starting shooting guard was ejected), Poole didn’t really do much of anything.
But my goodness he is fun to watch when he starts feeling it.
25 minutes, 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 4-for-9 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 60.4% TS, -5
Moody got some extra run on Tuesday thanks to DiVincenzo’s injury and Thompson’s ejection. And he was one of the lone bright spots!
He had a few really bad defensive plays, but also served as a strong reminder as to how much potential he has on that end of the court. I don’t think he’s earned the right to play 25 minutes regularly, but after this game I’m guessing the Dubs feel comfortable putting him in that roll when the roster necessitates it.
Tuesday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Donte DiVincenzo, Andre Iguodala, Jeremy Lamb, Ryan Rollins