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Player grades: Warriors vs. Knicks

Assessing every player’s performance from Golden State’s 116-114 loss to New York.

New York Knicks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors had a bit of a funny game against the New York Knicks on Thursday night.

They got massacred on the boards, losing 51-38. They struggled from the three-point line, needing some late shots just to make it to 33.3%. And they gave up 16 more free throws than they attempted.

You might think they lost a blowout, but instead they had a chance to take the game to overtime, before a Klay Thompson elbow jumper was a touch long, causing the Dubs to lose 116-114.

Back-to-back losses hurt, but it’s important to remember that the Warriors are still missing their second-best player, and this slide comes on the heels of a nine-game winning streak.

Despite what Warriors Twitter wants you to believe, the sky is not falling ... but some grades are. It’s time to break out the red pen and hand out some grades, weighting for our expectations of each player.

Jonathan Kuminga

36 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-8 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, +8

After the debacle that was the Warriors handling of James Wiseman a year ago, Jonathan Kuminga getting significant minutes on a Warriors team that is actively chasing wins is far and away the most surprising storyline of the team’s season for me.

Admittedly Kuminga wouldn’t have gotten these minutes were Draymond Green, Otto Porter Jr., and Andre Iguodala healthy, but still ... he started and played 36 minutes in a competitive game that the Warriors were trying to win ... and he was probably their second-best player!

Definitely still some tunnel vision, and he got absolutely worked a number of times by Julius Randle (grab a number and get in line, dude), but when a 19-year old rookie can play 36 minutes and only have a single turnover and two fouls, while scoring 17 points on 11 shooting possessions ... things have worked out nicely.

Grade: A-

Andrew Wiggins

36 minutes, 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 fouls, 6-for-13 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, -5

Wiggins had a quietly decent game, but you’d be excused for simply wanting more. The Warriors were desperately in search of a secondary scorer to help Steph Curry out, and neither Wiggins nor Klay Thompson nor Jordan Poole was able to fully step into that role.

But statistically it was a really good game. He scored with decent efficiency, dished out some dimes without turning the ball over, and was one of the few players with an interest in rebounding.

Grade: B+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Kevon Looney

19 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 4 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, -2

The Dubs got manhandled in the paint by Randle and Mitchell Robinson, and Looney, who has had so many answers for the team this year, seemed pretty helpless to stop them.

Grade: C

Steph Curry

39 minutes, 35 points, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 11-for-25 shooting, 5-for-16 threes, 8-for-8 free throws, +9

It’s a testament to how much Steph has spoiled us rotten that I felt like he wasn’t super efficient in this game ... and he had 35 points on 61.4% true-shooting. He is, as the kids say, built different.

It wasn’t a perfect game. His defense wasn’t as good as it’s been this year, and the turnovers, while not awful, were also not great. But you’ll take an efficient 35 and 10 any day of the week.

Grade: A

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

Klay Thompson

30 minutes, 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 7-for-17 shooting, 3-for-9 threes, +1

Klay had a chance to play the hero and send the game into overtime, but his elbow jumper at the buzzer was a little long. It did, however, make for a delightful post-game moment.

Klay started the game with a flurry, and ended it with a flurry, and in between missed a lot of shots. His defense wasn’t very good this game, but credit to him for the rebounds and the assists.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Nemanja Bjelica

19 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, -11

It was good to see Bjeli back on the court for the first time in two weeks, and his passing didn’t miss a beat. Unfortunately his shooting picked up where his slump left off, and he got successfully targeted on nearly every defensive possession.

Grade: C-

Juan Toscano-Anderson

6 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 0 plus/minus

I’m not exactly sure what JTA’s role is on the team currently, and that’s probably a little frustrating for him. He got a few minutes of play to mix things up, but unfortunately wasn’t able to disrupt New York enough to stay on the court.

Grade: C+

Damion Lee

17 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, -7

Lee made his shots in this game, which was a nice bounceback after his Wednesday donut. But he’s still having a pretty hard time finding other ways to impact the game, and seemed to just kind of exist in this one.

Grade: B-

Gary Payton II

9 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, -12

GP2 had at least two utterly sensational defensive plays in this game. Unfortunately his offense reverted back to his pre-Warriors days, and the Dubs couldn’t really give many minutes to him as a result.

Grade: B-

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

Jordan Poole

27 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, +4

Poole’s recent offensive aggression was a little bit absent in this one, save for a beautiful dunk that was one of the highlights of the game. Instead he decided to mostly stay behind the arc, and it didn’t really pay off.

He didn’t do much bad, but he just struggled big time to impact the game, and didn’t play very good defense.

Grade: B-

Moses Moody

3 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, +5

Moody just got a few spot minutes to try and inject life into a flailing team, and he did well enough, though making one of his shots could have gone a long way towards a win.

Grade: B-

Thursday’s DNPs: Chris Chiozza

Thursday’s inactives: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., Quinndary Weatherspoon, James Wiseman

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