The one-game losing streak is officially over. The Golden State Warriors returned home on Thursday night, and got back in the win column with a 123-110 win over the Miami Heat. Hopefully it gives them a little momentum before they head off on their five-game road trip, which begins on Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.
There were a lot of good performances in the win vs. Miami, so let’s grade them. And as always, we’ll grade weighting for our expectations of each player, with “B” as a baseline for how we expect them to play.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) last year was 56.6%.
29 minutes, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 foul, 5-for-10 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 47.9% TS, +9
I was pretty surprised to get to the box score and see that Dray only had four assists, and more turnovers than dimes. His passing was fairly phenomenal in this game, but some of them were hockey assists, some of them resulted in missed shots, and some of them were fumbled by his teammates. It still felt like a masterclass in non ball-dominant playmaking.
It wasn’t the most efficient scoring game, but his offense continues to look entirely reborn, and I am so here for it.
His defense was good, though not quite as good as in some prior games. I think some of his turnovers were the fault of teammates, but he also had some plays where he was more sloppy than he should have been.
Not a great game, but definitely a quite good game, from someone who is playing at an All-Star pace.
36 minutes, 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 6-for-6 free throws, 71.2% TS, +17
I’ve been known around these parts for being the person who is lower on Wiggins than everyone else, so let me start by saying this: if Wiggins keeps playing the way that he’s played in these first five games, his recent $109 million extension will make him one of the most underpaid players in the league.
This was everything you want from Wiggins, and more. On offense he was quick with his decisions, and aggressive. He got the ball and either passed, shot, or drove, without holding it like he used to. He scored super efficiently, and at least one of his missed shots came because the shot clock was expiring and he had to force it. He put the clamps on when playing defense. He engaged the “oh yeah, I can just rebound” feature for his first double-double of the season.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and plus/minus.
29 minutes, 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 59.5% TS, +12
Looney couldn’t keep Bam Adebayo from scoring, but then again, who can? He did keep Miami’s All-Star center from gobbling up too many rebounds, though.
It was the most minutes that Looney has played this year, and I think we’ll see more games like this. He’s clearly the team’s best option if they want a traditional center, and Steve Kerr seems a little hesitant to roll out too many small ball lineups this time of year.
Expect more games like this. And keep admiring the leaps and bounds Looney has made as a passer.
37 minutes, 33 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 13-for-22 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 75.0% TS, +13
I said it in a tweet, and I said it on the podcast, and I’ll say it again: they are doing something to the babies at Akron General Medical Center, because what Curry and LeBron James are doing as they get older is simply not human.
Curry is off to one of the hottest starts of his career, in his 14th season. He had a sense of the moment in this one, answering with a three seemingly every time the Heat made things interesting. There were step backs. There were pull ups. There were threes off of off-ball screens.
The total package, and almost a triple-double to boot.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
29 minutes, 19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 6-for-19 shooting, 5-for-14 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 47.8% TS, +7
Klay is still struggling a bit, but I thought this game was encouraging. The fact that he was able to get off 14 shots from distance in just 29 minutes — and most of them were good looks — was great. His off-ball movement was a lot better in this game than in the last few.
His defense was also a bit better, though still not where I expect it to eventually get. The shots will fall eventually, and when they do, Klay will look awesome.
18 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 77.3% TS, +4
A funny thing happened with Green in this game. For the first time all year, he got to play in decent lineups, with some starters. And, for the first time all year, he looked like a major asset.
Who would’ve thought.
Green has caught criticism from the fanbase for not being Otto Porter Jr., but he’s been done no favors by being in lineups full of mostly young players who don’t play defense. When he got first quarter minutes in this one, next to some of the top players on the team, he looked excellent.
14 minutes, 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-8 shooting, 62.5% TS, +2
The Warriors have been open about the fact that they’re balancing the veteran, win-now core, with the development of the younger players. But in this game it seems like they’re starting to shift that from a clean balance to something pointed more towards “win now.”
Jonathan Kuminga didn’t play on Thursday, and Wiseman received his fewest minutes of the season, by a bit. After those two combined for nearly 30 minutes in the season opener, they had just 14 minutes in this game.
It was understandable why. Wiseman’s defense was again fairly atrocious, though he’s doing a much better job at not fouling. On offense he continues to make every single shot he takes within eight feet of the rim. It’s almost comical how guaranteed it is that Wiseman will make a shot if he catches the ball cleanly in the paint.
But getting the ball to him is still a struggle. The Warriors struggled massively with tossing Wiseman lobs in this game. Some of that was on Wiseman, whose athleticism and coordination seem to fade a bit on lobs. But some of it was on his playmakers, who simply threw him a bunch of awful passes.
I think the Warriors will keep playing Wiseman, because his development is vital, and he’s so talented. But I also think they’re pretty aware that he’s not helping them win games right now.
8 minutes, 3 points, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 75.0% TS, +2
Donte DiVincenzo will be out for the upcoming five-game road trip, which means you can expect Jerome to keep slotting into a few minutes in each half.
Through two games, he’s doing exactly what the Warriors have asked him to do: he’s sliding into the system on both ends of the court, and not trying to do too much.
21 minutes, 11 points, 1 rebound, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.8% TS, -1
Poole is really learning how to impact the game without shooting a bunch. Mind you, I love when he shoots a bunch, but sometimes it’s not the right time, and the fact that Poole can be such a positive contributor while taking just seven shots is excellent.
He absolutely danced on Miami in this game, and it was so much fun to watch. Seven assists in 21 minutes? Outstanding. He can break down defenses so well, and he knows what to do after he’s beaten his man. If you’re not giddy watching Poole play basketball, then you might want to try a different sport.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
17 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2-for-6 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 50.0% TS, 0 +/-
I’m curious to see what role Moody plays as the team gets healthy. He’s playing solidly, but not really doing anything that is forcing Kerr to keep him on the floor. Right now there’s an opportunity, because the team needs to fill minutes. But when DiVincenzo and Andre Iguodala return, and Thompson is cranked up to starter minutes, how much time will there be for Moody?
He’s so solid, but not a standout at anything. That was the case on Thursday.
Thursday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Jonathan Kuminga, Ryan Rollins
Thursday’s inactives: Donte DiVincenzo, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Lamb