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Player grades: Warriors vs. Pelicans

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 128-107 win over New Orleans.

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors ended the season in fashion on Sunday, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 128-107 to secure the third seed, and enter the playoffs on a five-game winning streak.

It was a fun way to end the regular season. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate how good of a season a 53-29 campaign is.

OK, now that we’ve taken that moment, let’s grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each. And then we can shift our focus to the first round of the playoffs.

Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) for the season was 56.6%.

Draymond Green

27 minutes, 7 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 2-for-2 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 121.5% TS, +10

I think it’s safe to say that the Warriors will be very happy with Dray making every shot he takes, inside the arc, outside the arc, and at the free throw line. Other than that, this wasn’t a super dynamic game for Green, but it was kind of a vintage performance. He did what he had to do, was the leader on the court, set up his opponents, and really just ran the team.

Also great to see the turnovers and fouls kept in check. He looks ready for Game No. 83.

Grade: B+

Kevon Looney

15 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 66.7% TS, +2

This was one of Looney’s best performances since Steph Curry’s injury, which greatly reduced Looney’s role.

But honestly, his performance didn’t much matter. He gets a great grade in this game for the accomplishment he secured on Sunday by being just one of five players in the NBA to play all 82 of his team’s games.

Pretty remarkable for any player, but especially for a center whose college career and early NBA seasons were plagued by injuries.

Grade: A+

Klay Thompson

31 minutes, 41 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 16-for-29 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 67.6% TS, +25

Does anyone doubt that Klay Thompson is ready for the playoffs? There were so many questions when he returned from his injury, and spent the first few weeks scoring inefficiently.

But he’s found his groove, and you could hear the excitement and relief in his voice in his postgame interview with TNT. Klay eclipsed 30 points four times in the final six games of the season, and during that span averaged 30.8 points on 48.0% shooting and 45.0% from three-point range.

He’s ready. Now give him his fellow Splash Brother, and let’s watch the magic.

Grade: A+

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

Jordan Poole

28 minutes, 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers, 1 foul, 7-for-16 shooting, 4-for-9 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 61.9% TS, +9

Poole has officially reached the point in his outstanding offensive development that he can drop 20+ points and you barely even notice it. He finished with 20 or more points in 34 different games this year, including 18 of the last 20.

He definitely needs to cut back on the turnovers, but one can expect Curry’s return to help there.

Grade: A-

Moses Moody

19 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 83.3% TS, +4

That might be the last time Moody sees meaningful minutes until October, but I continue to be impressed by his ability to avoid the bad things that plague most rookies. Steve Kerr has to feel like he can play Moody in big moments if need be, without having to worry about big blunders being made.

Grade: B+

Nemanja Bjelica

23 minutes, 4 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 66.7% TS, +11

On the other side of things we have Bjelica, who is firmly in the postseason rotation after looking like a potential buyout candidate earlier in the season. Now it’s hard to imagine the Warriors second unit functioning on offense without Bjeli’s excellent passing and playmaking, or his aggressive but efficient offense. He’s still turning the ball over too much and fouling a bit, but he’s playing really good basketball right now, and it’s been a key to the team’s bench success.

Grade: A-

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

Jonathan Kuminga

29 minutes, 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-10 shooting, 3-for-4 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 82.7% TS, +21

By far Kuminga’s best game in a long time. He looks like he might be outside of the postseason rotation, but I think he’ll get a few minutes in each game to see if he can take off the way he did in this one.

Grade: A

Juan Toscano-Anderson

24 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 2-for-2 threes, 100.0% TS, +17

JTA is probably going to get a lot of DNPs in the playoffs, but something tells me he’s going to get an opportunity and potentially play a big role in a meaningful game. This contest was certainly a reminder that he’s staying ready, in all phases of the game.

Grade: A-

Damion Lee

24 minutes, 11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4-for-7 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.8% TS, +9

The same is true for Lee. He looks ready to go when his number is called, which may only be once or twice in the playoffs, but is still important.

Grade: A-

Gary Payton II

18 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 4-for-4 shooting, 100.0% TS, -3

GPII looks locked and loaded and ready for his first career playoff games. The Warriors are gonna need his backcourt defense, but Sunday was a reminder as to the weapon he can be on offense, too.

Grade: B+

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

Quinndary Weatherspoon

4 minutes, 0 points, 1 assist, 0 plus/minus

A few garbage-time minutes for Weatherspoon in what is likely his final action on the court with the Warriors. Since he’s on a two-way contract he won’t be eligible to play in the playoffs, though he’ll still travel with the team, practice with the team, and sit with the team during games.

Grade: Incomplete

Sunday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman

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