First off, an apology. The last thing you want to do is read another article on the Golden State Warriors’ abhorrent collapse on Sunday night, in which they blew a 21-point third quarter lead (at home, no less!) before dropping a 107-101 contest to the Dallas Mavericks. But I have a job to do, so we’re going to hike through it together.
As Spencer Dinwiddie and Luka Dončić started carving up the Dubs late, Golden State looked like a team that desperately needed Draymond Green back. And as the Warriors shots went ice cold — they had just 13 fourth-quarter points — they looked like a team that desperately needed Klay Thompson, who missed the game with an illness.
But they had neither Green nor Thompson. So all we can do is grade the players they did have, who were responsible for both a two-thirds blowout, and an unfortunately memorable collapse.
So grade them we must, weighting for our expectations of each player.
Note: league average true-shooting percentage (TS) entering Monday was 56.0%
34 minutes, 18 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 6 fouls, 7-for-16 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 2-for-5 free throws, 49.5% TS, 0 +/-
There was hope that the All-Star break would reset Wiggins, who entered the break on a little bit of a shooting slump. Unfortunately his shooting has really struggled out of the post-All-Star gates, as he’s shot just 11-for-29 from the field, 4-for-14 from three-point range, and, perhaps most odd, 2-for-7 from the charity stripe. Simply put, the last handful of games have probably been Wiggins’ worst stretch of the season.
He had a chunk in the first quarter where he put points up in a hurry and helped the Warriors jump out to a big lead, but other than that it was a pretty rough game for Wiggs, who fouled out.
26 minutes, 8 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 0-for-3 free throws, 63.3% TS, +15
Speaking of free throw struggles, Looney’s have unfortunately persisted. But other than that ... I think the Warriors will take 8/10/5/3 from Looney eight days a week, especially with minimal fouls and turnovers.
Stephen Kevon— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 28, 2022
Admittedly Looney wasn’t going up against any intimidating or ultra-talented centers, but he was very clearly one of the Warriors best players on Sunday, and a big part of why the team had a big lead to blow.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and plus/minus.
38 minutes, 27 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 11-for-25 shooting, 3-for-10 threes, 2-for-4 free throws, 50.5% TS, -4
Little bit of a weird game for Curry. His efficiency was well below his standards, though part of that is due to the fact that the Warriors offense forgot entirely how to function and Steph was kind of forced into action in the final quarter. Sadly it didn’t work, though it still resulted in plenty of magic.
3⃣0⃣ is FEELIN' IT pic.twitter.com/IwqhuqYyVk— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 28, 2022
With Green and Andre Iguodala out, Curry has really started to take on a role of playmaker lately — in the two games since the break he’s tallied 24 assists with just four turnovers. It’s been fun to watch, though I think every Warriors fan would trade it for some electric nights from beyond the arc.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
Gary Payton II
27 minutes, 13 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 6-for-11 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 59.1% TS, +9
My main takeaway from Payton’s performance is this: it is so fun watching him defend Dončić. What a brilliant battle between one of the league’s premier on-ball defenders and one of its greatest offensive forces. More of that, please, and it seemed the two were really enjoying themselves.
GPII also did some awesome things on offense this game, and lately has been doing a really good job of finding the openings on the floor.
25 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 foul, 2-for-6 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 41.7% TS, +14
Moody got the start in Klay’s absence and, for what feels like the 50th time this year, kind of just existed. I still mean that as a compliment — a rookie not standing out for bad reasons is honestly pretty impressive, especially on a good team. Moody played 25 minutes and didn’t turn the ball over once, registered just a single foul, and had no awful blown defensive assignments that I can remember.
He does a remarkable job of understanding that his role is to play solid defense, take open shots, and grab some boards. Unfortunately the shots weren’t really falling this game, but an impressive outing nonetheless.
16 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 50.0% TS, -8
Steals and blocks aren’t great stats in terms of depicting a player’s defensive performance, but it was still fun to see Bjeli have a trio of stocks in just 16 minutes, considering how much flack his defense has received this year.
Like Moody, Bjelica’s shots weren’t falling, in a very small sample size. But everything else was pretty darn good.
17 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 5 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 57.1% TS, -14
Kuminga looked a bit out of sorts and a step behind in this game, though it’s worth noting how impressive it is that he keeps putting up efficient scoring nights even when that’s the case.
But with Dallas’ athletic wings and bigs flying around, Kuminga didn’t have as big of an athletic advantage as he often has, and that was a big reason for the four turnovers and five fouls in just 17 minutes of action.
Otto Porter Jr.
22 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 71.7% TS, -17
Porter gets the unfortunate distinction of being the Warrior who was on the court for the largest amount of the Mavericks comeback, but it’s unfair to point the blame at him. He scored efficiently and crashed the glass effectively, though his defense did little to stop the bleeding.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
2 minutes, 0 points, 1 foul, -3
Minutes are hard for JTA to come by at the moment, and he didn’t do anything of note in his short stint here.
13 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 50.0% TS, -10
Lee’s defense looked pretty rough in this game, and there were some moments on both ends of the court where he just seemed to be wandering about aimlessly.
19 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 0-for-7 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 22.8% TS, -12
Above all else, the Warriors need Poole to be an offensive spark off the bench, and unfortunately he was their worst offensive player against Dallas. Give him props for hitting the boards so hard, and for earning some trips to the free throw line when his shot wasn’t falling, but there’s really no way to make 0-for-7 look pretty.
Sunday’s DNPs: Chris Chiozza, Quinndary Weatherspoon
Sunday’s inactives: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman