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Player grades: Warriors vs. Pelicans

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 114-105 loss to New Orleans.

Jonathan Kuminga driving to his right against Zion Williamson. Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors accomplished the thing they were emphatically not trying to accomplish, and were swept on a five-game road trip. A 114-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night gave the Dubs a 3-7 record on the year, and an 0-6 record away from the cozy confines of Chase Center.

It was actually an encouraging performance from the Warriors, as they hung tight with an excellent Pelicans squad, despite giving a night off to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green.

But the red pen must come out for all games, so let’s grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each, with a “B” representing the average performance.

Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) entering Friday’s games was 56.8%.

Jonathan Kuminga

38 minutes, 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-12 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 65.4% TS, +2

After getting two straight DNP-CDs — and having only played 22 minutes in the last five games combined — Kuminga finally got a chance to get some extended run. The Dubs may have lost, but watching Kuminga start to find a rhythm while playing the bulk of the game certainly made you understand why the Warriors were willing to punt a game.

Kuminga had looked fairly awful all year, but he was strong in this one. The poor decisions and tunnel vision that had plagued his earlier minutes were absent against the Pelicans. He was quick, decisive, and aggressive, and had multiple plays where he absolutely took it to superstar Zion Williamson. His defense, while not good relative to the average NBA player, was good relative to what he’s done lately. And the rebounding total doesn’t accurately reflect how hard he crashed the glass, or how many balls he kept alive.

I suspected after Thursday’s loss to the Orlando Magic that Kuminga would start to take some or all of James Wiseman’s minutes, and I feel pretty certain about that now.

Grade: A-

Anthony Lamb

37 minutes, 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 6-for-9 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 88.9% TS, +5

Where in the world did that come from?? Lamb played in his second game with the Dubs and put on an absolute show, seemingly raining in a jumper every time he touched the ball. He also displayed one heck of a motor, even if it sometimes resulted in sloppiness, as evidenced by the turnover and foul numbers.

Still, an absolutely awesome game. I doubt it buys him meaningful minutes going forward, but if he does it a few more times ...

Grade: A

Kevon Looney

25 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 free throws, 72.7% TS, -7

I wonder if Looney has professed a desire to try and play 82 games again this year, or if he’s just the odd man out. Because with how well he’s played this year, it seems kind of funny that he doesn’t get to join the rest of the starters on designated rest days.

Not that I’m complaining, because I love watching Looney play, and having a defensive anchor in the paint helps the younger perimeter defenders. He was solid in this one, because he’s Looney and that’s what he does, though I’d like to see him cut back on the fouls.

Grade: B

Jordan Poole

38 minutes, 20 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-18 shooting, 3-for-10 threes, 7-for-7 free throws, 47.4% TS, -1

I was hoping we’d see the star version of Poole come out when given the keys to the offense, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. And it’s a bummer, too, as one of his signature jaw-dropping games probably would’ve been enough to cement a shocking W for the Dubs.

But oh well. There was still a lot to like about Poole’s performance. Seeing him dish out nine dimes is awesome, even if it came with a bunch of turnovers. The offensive aggression earning him seven trips to the charity stripe is great to see, even if his shots from the field weren’t falling.

Overall it wasn’t a good game from him, but there’s still things to look at and be excited by. I wanted to give him a straight up C, but the bad defense costs him.

Grade: C-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.

Moses Moody

32 minutes, 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-9 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 5-for-5 free throws, 62.5% TS, +10

I loved seeing Moody be a little bit more aggressive on offense in this game. We saw that from him in Summer League and preseason, but it’s been mostly absent during the regular season. He had just 10 free throw attempts through the first nine games, but got five of them vs. the Pelicans, as he was frequently looking for opportunities to attack the New Orleans defense.

The result was more turnovers than we’re used to seeing from him, as his game got sloppy at times. But he played solid defense and was quietly very strong on offense. Good stuff.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.

JaMychal Green

9 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 50.0% TS, -11

This wasn’t really a game that was meant for Green. NBA rosters aren’t big enough to rest him with the stars, but the nine-year veteran isn’t exactly who you have in mind when you play this sort of a game.

So he got just enough action to stay warm, and we’ll wait to see more of him when the Dubs put their best foot forward.

Still wasn’t good though.

Grade: C-

Patrick Baldwin Jr.

4 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, -13

Baldwin got his first extended run, if you can call four minutes extended run. It was a reminder as to why he hasn’t gotten more. Hopefully the Warriors can get more garbage time for him so he can start to develop, because the Warriors won’t be playing him in many meaningful minutes.

Grade: C

James Wiseman

17 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 3-for-4 free throws, 90.6% TS, -3

Wiseman only getting 17 minutes in this game probably was another sign that he’s out of the normal rotation, or barely hanging onto it. But this was his best game of the road trip. It was pretty clear that he had a conversation with the coaches or players after the last game, because the issues that were on display on Thursday — not running out for screens fast enough, and not chasing rebounds aggressively enough — were being addressed.

Still a sieve defensively, but some good improvements.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in rebounds.

Ty Jerome

32 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 foul, 7-for-12 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.9% TS, -7

What a game for the two-ways! My goodness. Jerome and Lamb combined for 34 points on 13-21 shooting. Pretty nice luxury to have.

Jerome was absolutely awesome in this game. He was aggressive but also measured on offense. He played 32 minutes, had a big role on offense as a scorer and playmaker, and didn’t turn the ball over a single time. He fit into the system and helped get others going. He made a big shot down the stretch as the Warriors were trying to get back in the game.

His defense isn’t good, but we weren’t expecting it to be. Just awesomeness from Jerome.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in rebounds.

Ryan Rollins

9 minutes, 7 points, 4 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 71.7% TS, -20

Fun to see Rollins get a good chunk of minutes, but this was a firm reminder that he (and Baldwin) are very raw (as you expect rookies to be), and are a ways away from contributing. Loved seeing him get some points and shoot well, but he did not look ready for NBA action.

Grade: C

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

Friday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Donte DiVincenzo, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins

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