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Player grades: Warriors vs. Pelicans

Assessing every player from Golden State’s 128-83 loss to New Orleans.

JaMychal Green dunking with two hands as Jonas Valanciunas defends Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

What a difference a few weeks makes. The last time the Golden State Warriors were visiting the New Orleans Pelicans, back on November 4, the Dubs rested the bulk of their starters and let the youngsters take the wheel. They lost, but it was close, encouraging, and fun.

Back in NOLA on Monday night, the Dubs once again rested their stars, giving Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green the night off on a road back-to-back. Only this time the loss was not close, encouraging, or fun. It was just dull, emphatic, and lifeless. And a 128-83 blowout.

Let’s grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each. A “B” grade is what we can expect from a player on any given night.

Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) entering Monday’s games was 57.2%.

Jonathan Kuminga

39 minutes, 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 6-for-20 shooting, 4-for-12 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 43.1% TS, -38

There were certainly some good moments from Kuminga in this game. He had many stretches of playing really strong defense on Zion Williamson, a superstar. And he had perhaps the play of the night with yet another dynamic dunk.

But there was a lot more that was troubling. His offense started with a handful of possessions where he drove in a bee line towards the rim, met traffic, and tried (with limited success) to use his athleticism to bail him out. After growing pretty frustrated with that, he started hoisting three-pointers ... sometimes early in the shot clock, sometimes off balance, and sometimes contested.

Kuminga is not nearly a good enough shooter — he made 33.6% of his triples last year, and entered tonight’s game at 22.2% — to be relying on his three ball to open up the rest of his offense. It absolutely needs to go the other way around.

And if he’s going to ask for minutes as a four (which he has to, given the aforementioned shooting woes), then he needs to collect more than one rebound every 13 minutes.

Grade: C

Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.

Anthony Lamb

34 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 20.0% TS, -31

Lamb’s hot three-point shooting has, unfortunately, returned to earth. After starting the season 12-for-22 from distance, Lamb is just 1-for-11 in his last four games. He did make up for it a bit with some quality playmaking, as it was his second game this season in which he’s registered four assists.

His overall statline was more well-rounded than most of his teammates, though he got absolutely eaten up by Brandon Ingram.

Grade: C

Kevon Looney

5 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 foul, -8

I’m not sure whether Looney’s start was ceremonial, to keep his consecutive games played streak alive, or if the outcome was just determined by the time his second stint was around, but after playing the opening five minutes, he never returned.

Grade: B-

Donte DiVincenzo

19 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 0-for-5 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 0.0% TS, -26

I continue to be excited by the energy level that DiVincenzo brings to the bench units, even if those units were technically the starting units tonight. And he’s really starting to find his groove as a passer in the system.

But the Warriors need him to score, and they need him to shoot, and right now he’s doing neither of those things. He’s yet to reach double figures in a game this year, and hasn’t scored more than six points since the season opener.

I like the point of attack defense and the passing and the hustle, but the Warriors need more. A lot more.

Grade: C-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.

Jordan Poole

27 minutes, 26 points, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 1 foul, 9-for-18 shooting, 2-for-9 threes, 6-for-7 free throws, 61.2% TS, -25

In keeping with the theme of seeing something good and seeing something bad, Poole scoring 26 on high level efficiency is awesome. It’s especially awesome when the Warriors rest their starters, and he becomes the focal point of the opposing team’s defense.

But going 27 minutes without securing a rebound or dishing an assist is not gonna cut it. It was just the second time in franchise history that a player had scored 25 or more points without a rebound or assist. The other was World B. Free in 1981.

Still, on a night when the Warriors shot under 40% from the field, under 25% from distance, and scored in the teens in two separate quarters, 26 points on 9-for-18 shooting is notable. Poole’s teammates combined to score just 57 points on 19-for-56 shooting.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

JaMychal Green

23 minutes, 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 72.7% TS, -21

I’ve been on record (many times) as saying that Green looks good when he’s in good lineups, and he looks bad when he’s in bad ones. So it was a pleasant surprise seeing him be one of the few players who performed well in this game for the Dubs.

His aggression getting to the hoop was huge for a team that seemed content taking low-quality jump shots all night, and his rebounding was great. He got feasted on by Jonas Valančiūnas a few times, though, reminding us that he’s something of a matchup player.

Grade: B+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Patrick Baldwin Jr.

15 minutes, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, 3-for-6 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 58.3% TS, -18

It was great to see Baldwin back on the court. Due to injuries and a G League stint, the first-round pick hadn’t played since the last Pelicans game ... and had only registered four and a half minutes of action in his career to this point.

He got some good run in this one and made the most of it. He was active on both ends of the court, and even though he often looked like the game was moving too fast for him, he still managed to do a ton of good things. He was very aggressive rebounding the ball and in the passing lanes. And we always celebrate players scoring their first career points!

Grade: A

Ty Jerome

26 minutes, 7 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 71.7% TS, -26

Pretty solid outing for Jerome, who hadn’t played since November 7. He’s been out of the rotation since DiVincenzo returned, and while that’s likely to remain the case, these games are good reminders that Jerome is better than the average break glass in case of emergency two-way contract.

Grade: B+

Moses Moody

33 minutes, 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 2-for-6 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 57.9% TS, -29

Moody continues to be way more aggressive in these all-youngsters games than when playing with the starters. He now has 11 free throws in these two games against the Pelicans ... and 11 free throws in the rest of the games combined.

You can see that as a good thing (that he scales back his role when playing with better players), or a bad thing (that he’s not unleashing his full talents).

Grade: B

Ryan Rollins

16 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 5 turnovers, 3 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 37.5% TS, -3

Rollins looked like the game was moving a little bit too quickly for him. He certainly looked athletic, but seemed to turn the ball over or commit a foul every few seconds.

Grade: D+

Post-game bonus: Best plus/minus on the team.

Monday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman

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