My heart is full, and I’m guessing yours is, too. For the first time in 1,005 days, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green played a basketball game together, and they didn’t miss a beat. The Golden State Warriors once again look like the Golden State Warriors.
Grading the team should be fun tonight, so let’s dive in, weighting for our expectations of each player.
Note: League average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.2% entering Monday’s games.
28 minutes, 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 5-for-8 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 75.0% TS, -10
With Green coming off the bench due to a minutes restriction, Kuminga got the start at the power forward position. It’s been a funny year for the Warriors, and “Jonathan Kuminga starting in place of Draymond Green in an important game” is just another funny anecdote in a silly season, even if it makes sense contextually.
Kuminga had a good but quiet game. That’s impressive for a rookie (sorry, I know I say this at least twice a week), and it’s still worth celebrating that he seems to wake up and score with All-Star 7-footer efficiency, regardless of his role.
This definitely wasn’t his best defensive game, but he continues to look like a core part of the rotation.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, worst plus/minus on the team.
24 minutes, 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 40.0% TS, +11
Looney looked like he was having fun setting screens tonight, and seemed to enjoy having Green back in the fold. Curry, Green, and Thompson rightfully get the bulk of the credit, but let’s not forget that this is Looney’s seventh season playing with that trio. He may not have the star power that they have, but he’s got the familiarity and the bond with them, and that was on display in this game.
35 minutes, 47 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 16-for-25 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 8-for-8 free throws, 82.4% TS, +17
Well that was superstar Curry, and it really wasn’t a coincidence that he emerged with Green’s return.
Kerr says "100 percent" was a connection between Draymond's return and Steph's eruption. Says the Warriors have "unique stars" who "help one another."— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) March 15, 2022
Steph’s performance was vintage, as he did everything that we know and love about his game. There were deep bombs, and lean-in threes. There were triples off the dribble, and some that came after tirelessly working off ball. There were step-backs and drive-bys, aggression that earned fouls, and wizardry around the rim.
And he topped it off with a lovely assist-to-turnover ratio, a sense of the moment, and some smiles that let you know he was happy to have his running mates back.
Not a bad way to spend a birthday, honestly.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, tied for the lead in assists.
33 minutes, 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 7-for-19 shooting, 4-for-12 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 50.3% TS, 0 plus/minus
Klay also looked happy and comfortable to gave Green back on the court, though it didn’t impact his efficiency quite as much. It’s to be expected that he’ll ebb and flow a bit as he’s still working his way back ... not all games will be as incredible as his performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, and that’s OK.
His defense is looking really good though.
32 minutes, 20 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-13 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 5-for-7 free throws, 62.2% TS, +11
Make it seven straight games with 20 or more points for Poole, who is looking more and more like a weapon every day. I tweeted this during the game, and I stand by it.
this is a lot of ifs, but if Jordan Poole keeps playing the way he's played over the last two weeks, and if Klay Thompson looks like Klay Thompson, and if Draymond Green is healthy, the Warriors are probably gonna win it all— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) March 15, 2022
Poole is floating in and out of the starting lineup, and it doesn’t seem to matter. When he’s on the court he scores, and from every part of the hardwood. He keeps the ball moving, which sometimes means getting assists, and sometimes just means letting other players flourish. He brings energy and aggression, and his defense is really improving, too.
He even took a page out of Curry’s book.
He’s the real deal, folks.
24 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 116.7% TS, +3
For a while it looked like Bjelica was out of the rotation, but now he seems to be playing a critical role, just as he did early in the year. Maybe that will change when the team is healthy, and when Green is back to playing full minutes, but maybe it’s here to stay.
Either way, Bjeli played really nicely in this game. Watching his passing is such a joy, and he scored efficiently for the first time in a while, too.
20 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 61.5% TS, +24
Green was on a minutes restriction, but he was still able to lead the team in plus/minus, because that’s all he knows how to do. And he could not have put up a more Draymondian stat line than he did.
Green’s impact was apparent from the moment he checked in. He found Curry for a three on the first possession, running the split action that we’ve seen a million times — it’s still as beautiful as the first time.
He lifted the defense up, and lifted the Chase Center crowd up.
And then he dropped the soundbite.
Draymond: "Whether we're the No. 2 seed or No. 3 seed, we're going to win a championship" pic.twitter.com/Tt8fPTxLhg— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 15, 2022
Damn straight, Dray.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the lead in assists, led the team in plus/minus.
Otto Porter Jr.
22 minutes, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 foul, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 65.8% TS, +4
The Warriors showed their versatility by giving 20+ minutes to Porter, Green, Bjelica, and Kuminga. They’ve got a lot of fun lineups they can use, and different looks that they can throw out there.
Porter wasn’t the most impactful player out there on Monday, but he did his job by knocking in shots and playing solid defense.
2 minutes, 0 points, -1
At the moment JTA is not in the aforementioned quartet of heavily relied up 4s, but something tells me the Warriors will call on him in a big moment in the playoffs, and that he’ll be ready.
19 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 50.0% TS, +11
Stop me if you’ve heard me say this a million times, but Moody didn’t make any notable mistakes, and didn’t make himself the story in this game, and I’m so impressed when rookies are able to do that. He just played solid basketball when asked to.
Monday’s DNPs: Damion Lee
Monday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Quinndary Weatherspoon, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman