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Player grades: Warriors vs. Bulls

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 119-111 win over Chicago.

Steph Curry and Draymond Green reaching up to high five each other Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors got back in the win column on Friday night, beating the Chicago Bulls 119-111 in a game that was very convincing until it wasn’t.

A win is a win is a win, and while there’s a lot to dislike from this game, there’s a lot to like, as well. So let’s jump into it with some grades, weighting for our expectations of each player. A “B” grade represents an average performance for a player.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is scoring efficiency that accounts for three-point shooting and free throws. League average entering Friday’s games was 57.4%.

Draymond Green

36 minutes, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 88.8% TS, +20

This was one of those games where, if you were silly enough to forget that Green is a star player before, you were emphatically reminded of it throughout the contest. I posited after the game that other than Steph Curry, no one on the Warriors is more important. Frankly, I don’t think it’s even close.

Green is starring in the starting lineup, and the primary reason why the bench unit has turned from a massive liability to an actual weapon. His playmaking is allowing Jordan Poole to play more off ball, which is huge, and his defensive quarterbacking is returning to the point where we need to start putting him in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.

And just to top it all off, he hit one of the biggest shots of the game, nailing a huge three in the final moments to keep the game out of reach from the pesky Bulls.

Don’t have enough good words to say about Dray.

Grade: A

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

Andrew Wiggins

30 minutes, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 0-for-2 free throws, 55.2% TS, +11

Wiggins picked up 2 fouls in the first few minutes of the game, and never quite recovered. He was pretty passive in this one on both ends of the court, though he played some quality defense at times on DeMar DeRozan.

The big frustration with Wiggins right now is the rebounding — he has just six total boards in his last three games, during which time he’s played about 90 minutes. The Warriors need a lot more action from him on the glass.

Grade: C

Kevon Looney

27 minutes, 7 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 foul, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-4 free throws, 51.8% TS, +11

Looney’s numbers look worse when you consider the line that Nikola Vučević had, but I think that was more about the Warriors defensive strategy. They were using Looney more to help out on DeRozan and Zach LaVine, and living with any damage that Vučević might do.

Looney again gobbled up boards and dished out assists ... he now has 69 dimes this year, with just 10 turnovers. Nice.

His grade being this low is only because of how high he has raised the bar with his play this year.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Steph Curry

33 minutes, 19 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 6 turnovers, 5 fouls, 6-for-16 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 54.9% TS, -1

If you need a sign of how far the Warriors have come since their tough start to the year, this game provided it. Remember when they needed absolute brilliance from Curry just to squeak by some of the worst teams in the league? Now they’re able to beat some middle-of-the-road teams even when Curry struggles (by his superhuman standards).

Curry got into foul trouble early, forcing Steve Kerr to change up the rotations. He never quite found a rhythm, though he had a few huge shots, and a clutch block. And he reached double figures in rebounds for the fourth time this year, a fairly remarkable stat for someone of his stature.

But Sonya Curry will be cashing a fat check for all those turnovers, and the chef will be beating himself up for all the fouls.

Grade: C

Klay Thompson

37 minutes, 26 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 9-for-21 shooting, 3-for-13 threes, 5-for-5 free throws, 56.0% TS, +11

It wasn’t Klay’s most efficient shooting game, but it was a solid night of basketball for him. With Curry and Wiggins struggling with fouls, Thompson was able to stay on the court, playing more minutes than anyone, and providing quality defense on LaVine and DeRozan. The assists were great to see, and a sign of him playing well within the system. He crashed the glass, spaced the floor, and had some big plays in the final moments.

Grade: B+

Jonathan Kuminga

11 minutes, 1 point, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 17.4% TS, -1

Kuminga is making a concerted effort to focus more on defense and decision making, and less on scoring. And I think that’s on full display.

The stats don’t jump off the page, or even tepidly step off it. But Kuminga’s defense is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was even a few weeks ago, and he’s making smart decisions that fit within the system.

Not all of his games will be electric, but we’re reaching a point where most of them will at least be good.

Grade: B

JaMychal Green

10 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 33.3% TS, -5

Green has been doing a good job lately of bringing energy off the bench, though he didn’t have too much of that on Friday. And he’s now shooting just 6-for-33 from three-point range. Yikes.

Grade: C-

Anthony Lamb

16 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 foul, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 69.4% TS, +4

Not much to say about Lamb, to be honest. He continues to look like a super solid bench role player who can give you 10-20 minutes a night depending on the matchup, bring energy, defense, and a jump shot to the party, and make the right play 99% of the time.

Grade: A-

Donte DiVincenzo

17 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 62.5% TS, -4

DiVincenzo continues to both show why the Warriors signed him, and the growing pains that new players have in the team’s system. He’s really starting to make an impact on the second-unit offense, but also has a few bad shots or turnovers every game, where he looks like he simply hasn’t found his footing yet.

Grade: B-

Jordan Poole

23 minutes, 30 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 11-for-18 shooting, 7-for-13 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 79.5% TS, -6

You can criticize Poole for having a lone rebound and a lone assist if you want, but I’d rather focus on the fact that, when Curry hit the bench in the first quarter with foul concerns, Poole came in and dropped 14 points in the frame. And when we needed the third quarter Warriors to show up and extend Golden State’s lead, Poole scored 13 straight points for the team.

It was a dynamic scoring performance, and as Draymond mentioned in his on-court post-game interview with ESPN, it’s scary to think how good the Warriors can be when Poole is tapping into his ability to score like a Splash Brother.

Grade: A

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, worst plus/minus on the team.

Friday’s DNPs: Moses Moody

Friday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman

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