What, you thought I would just ignore the grades because the game was a stinker? Sadly not. I just needed some time to stew on the Golden State Warriors 130-119 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night ... a game that dropped the Dubs to an unthinkable 0-8 on the road to start the year.
Anyway, it’s red pen time. As always, I’m grading players based on my expectation of them, with a “B” being a player’s average performance.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) as of Thursday morning was 57.2%.
29 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 116.0% TS, -19
A really weird game for Draymond. Outstanding efficiency and some brilliant passes, which is worth celebrating. Poor rebounding on a night where the Warriors really needed some boards, mixed with defense that continues to be really good but not quite Draymond good is worth being worried about.
I don’t know. Dray is so good and it’s been on display this year, but something feels off.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists, worst plus/minus on the team.
32 minutes, 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 63.6% TS, -13
Also a weird game for Wiggs, for similar reasons. The scoring efficiency? Love that. Though the Warriors need him to play a simpler offensive game when he’s getting sloppy ... you can live with 3 turnovers, but not when they’re balanced out by only 1 assist.
The defense continued to slip, and the rebounding was pretty ugly. Before the first game of the season, Steve Kerr said he’ll be watching for Wiggins’ rebounding totals, and pointed to the wing’s postseason revelation that he could just rebound more if he wanted to. It simultaneously felt like praise and an indictment. And when Wiggins rebounds well, I think of that quote for the praise. And when he rebounds poorly, I think of that quote for the indictment.
20 minutes, 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 fouls, 5-for-6 shooting, 83.3% TS, -11
There weren’t many players in this game who could say they were part of the solution for the Warriors. In fact, I’d argue that there were only two. But Looney was one of them. He was the best rebounder in the game for either team, scored efficiently (and at a decently high volume!), and played strong defense on opposing center Deandre Ayton.
Great stuff from Loon.
36 minutes, 50 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 17-for-28 shooting, 7-for-11 threes, 9-for-9 free throws, 78.2% TS, -14
Curry’s performance made me sad. Not because of anything he did, but because of what the team did — or didn’t do.
The Chef had one of the best games in his career, and all I can think about is how the Warriors just wasted it. He put up a hyper-efficient 50-piece, and all I can focus on is how he, the smallest player on the team, still was tasked with grabbing as many rebounds as Green, Wiggins, and Klay Thompson combined.
The Warriors simply cannot turn into the Lakers North. They have one of the greatest players in NBA history defying Father Time and still playing at an MVP level. They need to find a way to capitalize on it so that we can get back to celebrating these types of performances.
30 tallied 50+ points in a game for the 11th time in his career.@Verizon || Reliable Moments pic.twitter.com/yP27MvNSyo— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 17, 2022
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and rebounds.
30 minutes, 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 6-for-17 shooting, 3-for-9 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 50.6% TS, -8
I don’t have much to say here, and I don’t want to say much here. Klay’s struggles are well documented at this point, and he got absolutely dragged yesterday on social media. I remain optimistic about where he’ll be in a month or three, but it’s a little painful to watch right now.
I thought his defense on Devin Booker was really good for the first few minutes of the game, before falling off entirely. I thought his shot selection was mostly decent ... the shots just weren’t falling, with a lot of his points coming in garbage time as he tried to find a rhythm.
Really tough game.
17 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 1-for-7 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 14.3% TS, +7
Hey, for one of the few times this year, a bench player has a positive plus/minus! And it’s here where I remind you that individual, single-game plus/minus is a stat that requires a lot of context. The context in this particular case is, “JaMychal Green had a positive plus/minus, despite playing poorly.”
He got into early foul trouble as he struggled with his new role as the backup 5. He recovered with some good second quarter minutes and some good energy, but just couldn’t score or grab rebounds.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
24 minutes, 7 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 50.0% TS, -3
This performance from Lamb highlighted a bit of what has gone wrong with the Warriors this year. On the one hand, Lamb was probably one of the better players for the team, playing with energy, bringing some work on the glass, and playing defense. On the other hand, he still played like a guy who should be near the back of a rotation ... if he’s a guy you’re leaning on, your season has not gone the way you hoped.
19 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 foul, 2-for-7 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 42.9% TS, +2
I thought DiVincenzo did some really nice things in this game. His on-ball defense was some of the best that the Warriors played, and he’s starting to find some rhythm within the offensive system. It’s hard to make an impact off the bench when you shoot poorly, but I thought that the things he did were pretty solid.
D NTE— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 17, 2022
27 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 0-for-5 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 17.0% TS, -2
Having 8 assists to 1 turnover is brilliant. Let’s get that out of the way first. That’s exceptional and the Warriors will be stoked about it.
But the Dubs need him to score. They absolutely need him to score. The bench and Poole’s defense are both too weak for Poole to not score. There’s just no way around it.
The bench scored fewer points last night than Poole averaged last season.
6 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, +6
Moody has been looking a little disinterested of late. I’m not sure if it’s the team struggles or the inconsistent minutes, but I don’t really even notice it when he’s out there right now.
Wednesday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Jonathan Kuminga, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman