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Player grades: Warriors vs. Nuggets

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 131-124 loss to Denver.

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors lost their fifth straight game on Monday, but it was far and away the least frustrating of those five, as they hung tight with the Denver Nuggets all night long despite being without eight players — including Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.

It was a gutsy and impressive performance, even if it ultimately came in defeat. But win or lose, we must grade the players, so here we go. As always, we’re weighting for our expectations of each.

Note: League average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.2% entering Monday’s games.

Juan Toscano-Anderson

22 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assist, 4 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 73.5% TS, + 4

It’s been nothing but inconsistent minutes for JTA lately, so it was fun seeing him get the start and a big chunk of playing time. On the whole he was clearly one of the team’s best players, and one of the few people on either team who had any interest whatsoever in playing any defense.

Grade: A

Kevon Looney

29 minutes, 13 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-8 shooting, 3-for-6 free throws, 61.1% TS, -9

Looney got absolutely destroyed by Nikola Jokić, but then again ... everyone gets absolutely destroyed by Nikola Jokić. The bright side of it was that Looney showed that his recent offensive success isn’t just a result of Steph Curry’s gravity and passing, as he attacked the rim with great success, and once again excelled as a playmaker.

Just ... no match for Jokić, unfortunately.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Damion Lee

26 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 48.1% TS, +7

Lee had an awesome first quarter, knocking in six points on just three shots as the Dubs made things surprisingly interesting. His offense fell off after that point, but he did a good job of attacking, and grabbed some rebounds.

Grade: B

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

Jordan Poole

34 minutes, 32 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 4 fouls, 11-for-19 shooting, 8-for-12 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 80.5% TS, -6

After a stretch of a few rough games, Poole has been on an absolute tear lately. And with Thompson and Curry out, he stepped effortlessly into the role of starter and go-to scorer. He even did his best Splash Brothers performance by raining in eight triples, most of which were from a distance and/or style that surely made Steph and Klay proud.

To top it all off, JP dished the rock brilliantly, and brought huge amounts of energy and spark to a team that needed it to stay alive. The only downside was the turnovers, but you can live with that when he cerated so much on offense elsewhere.

Grade: A

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.

Moses Moody

36 minutes, 30 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 10-for-23 shooting, 5-for-12 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 58.5% TS, -10

Remember when Moody started the year shooting 4-for-33 from three-point range? Yeah, those days are a distant memory.

He came out of the gates firing, making a quartet of triples in the first few minutes en route to 15 first-quarter points. He had a career high by halftime, and even though he cooled down as the game went on, it was still one of his best and most memorable games as a pro.

It’s starting to look like Moody, just like his fellow rookie in Jonathan Kuminga, is forcing his way into the rotation.

Grade: A

Nemanja Bjelica

18 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 1-for-6 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 16.7% TS, +3

I think it’s safe to say that Bjelica is firmly out of the rotation at the moment, so he must have been happy to get a chance to play. The usual struggles persisted: he didn’t score efficiently, and he got brutalized on defense. But he also did a strong job of making the offense function, as he was highly aggressive and dished out some incredible passes. The flip side to that, however, was the many turnovers that accompanied those passes.

Grade: C

Jonathan Kuminga

29 minutes, 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls, 6-for-9 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 77.5% TS, -13

Another day, another efficient scoring performance from one of the more efficient rookies you’ll ever see. The rest of Kuminga’s game wasn’t great — his defense really struggled, and he wasn’t able to do much of anything as a playmaker or a ball-mover. But when he tried to score he usually did, and that’s a hell of a talent.

Grade: B+

Quinndary Weatherspoon

16 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 93.5% TS, +3

Weatherspoon hadn’t appeared in an NBA game in over a month, and he made the absolute most of his opportunity. He attacked the rim relentlessly, creating offense for others and making baskets himself.

He’s not going to get an opportunity to play except for in games like this, but he sure stated his case regardless.

Grade: A+

Chris Chiozza

29 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 33.3% TS, -13

It was fun to see Chiozza out there for extended minutes, and he really reminded Warriors fans as to just how good of a passer he can be. Unfortunately his shot wasn’t falling, and his defense got quite exposed, but he did a great job running the O.

Grade: B

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

Monday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman

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