The Golden State Warriors faced the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night and looked like a team in dire need of two things: the All-Star break, and Draymond Green.
The former will arrive after Wednesday’s home game against the Denver Nuggets, and when it departs, hopefully the latter will arrive.
But until then, we’re stuck talking about a 119-104 loss to a Clippers team that is far more compromised than the Warriors are. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t pretty. But it needs to be addressed.
As always, grades are weighted for our expectations of each player. And by “ours” I mean “mine.”
28 minutes, 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-for-8 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, -8
Kuminga had a few of those obscene, electrifying, terrifyingly athletic plays that we’ve come to expect from him in this game, but otherwise didn’t make his presence felt all that much. He had a few moments of being a touch out of control, hence the fouls and turnovers, but it’s safe to say he wasn’t the problem in this game ... just wasn’t the solution, either.
28 minutes, 13 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, -12
Like Kuminga, Wiggins wasn’t the problem in this game, but he wasn’t the solution, either. And unlike Kuminga, who still gets the rookie exemption, Wiggins not being a solution is, inherently, a problem.
Hit the fade ✔️— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 15, 2022
It was a decently efficient game for Wiggins, but he benefitted from the attention the Clippers threw at Steph Curry more than anything else. When the offense struggled, he wasn’t able to create much, and just two rebounds and an assist proved that he wasn’t offering much in other areas of the game. This seems like a good time for an unfortunate team stat:
Warriors starting lineup had 13 rebounds tonight. Like, combined.— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) February 15, 2022
It also wasn’t a game that Wiggins will put on his All-Defense resume.
Ultimately, he was far from the worst player on the court for the Warriors, but that’s too low of a benchmark for an All-Star.
19 minutes, 7 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 3 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, -9
How many centers can have five assists without turning the ball over? Looney will obviously never be a point center or a primary ballhandler, but his assists are anything but empty. He’s really learning how to make the right read at the right time, and has been responsible for the Dubs getting a lot of open looks lately.
That’s the good. The almost total lack of rebounding — while his counterpart Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 8 rebounds on just 10 shots — is the bad.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
34 minutes, 33 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 fouls, 11-for-18 shooting, 8-for-13 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, -19
It wasn’t Curry’s most complete game. He’s been a beast on the boards this year, but not tonight. His turnover tally doubled his assists. His defense, far and away the best it’s been in his career, was not good.
But it’s also hard to pick nits with the player who represented the team’s only offense ... while also being the opposing team’s only focus.
"He's so dangerous, probably the most dangerous player in the league the way he can get hot... In 2017 and 2018m we blitzed him with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson on the floor. That's how dangerous I think he is."— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 15, 2022
Ty Lue on Warriors' Stephen Curry. #Clippers pic.twitter.com/KKl46FAKzC
Curry had 16 first quarter points, and it’s no coincidence that that’s the only time the Dubs looked good.
#StephGonnaSteph— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 15, 2022
30's four-for-four from downtown ☔️ pic.twitter.com/3ZyEoWqwIa
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
27 minutes, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 3-for-14 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, -23
Klay’s best game of the year came on Saturday against one LA team, and his worst game of the year came on Monday against another LA team. In between he presumably watched an entirely different LA team play sports.
Anyway, it was a rough game for Thompson, but the silver lining is that it’s remarkable that he came back with two and a half years of court rust, rehabbing two lower body injuries, and we had to wait this long to get one of these clunkers. He’d have been forgiven for having one a week all year ...
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
11 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, -3
Bjelica continues to stand out for the wrong reasons on defense, but that was hardly the biggest issue facing the Dubs in this game, and his playmaking was excellent.
Otto Porter Jr.
16 minutes, 7 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, -7
OPJ had a sneakily good performance. With the rest of the team struggling to clean the glass, Porter grabbed a board every other minute, and made half of his shots to boot. He brought a good amount of energy on offense, defense, and in broken plays, and that was a nice change of pace given the overall lackluster vibe of the team.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
7 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, +6
It’s hard to grade JTA’s performance because it came rather exclusively in garbage time. Still, I want to give him a shoutout for sticking to the script and playing team basketball in such minutes ... it’s pretty easy to abandon the script and start chasing your own points when you’ve been riding the pine and finally get some play with the outcome already decided.
21 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 foul, 2-for-7 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, +7
It wasn’t Lee’s most skillful game, but I certainly appreciate the effort. He looked like he was trying hard out there, which is more than some of his teammates can say. His shot selection was not at its greatest, but he did a good job chasing after loose balls and crashing the glass.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
Gary Payton II
11 minutes, 1 point, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-2 free throws, 0 plus/minus
I’m not entirely sure why GP2’s minutes have been so low, even when the Dubs have been getting torched by guards (LA’s starting backcourt of Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson combined for 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in this game).
Whether it’s the result of the minutes or the cause of them, his offense has been quite down ... in his last four games, he’s had just a single point and two assists, total.
25 minutes, 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, -7
It was an OK game for Poole. The scoring wasn’t great, but it was passable, and he did a strong job attacking the glass and bringing energy to loose balls and broken possessions. The defense, however, had itself a not very good game at all.
JP got it to go #BigShot pic.twitter.com/Is5WgYF5SE— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 15, 2022
13 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 block, 1 foul, 1-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 0 plus/minus
The Warriors put Moody on the court a few times in an effort to find a spark ... he didn’t really provide it, though his defense was all right.
Monday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Quinndary Weatherspoon, James Wiseman