The Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 128-112 on Thursday, and while you don’t necessarily get bragging rights for beating an eliminated team that is resting LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, beating the Lakers always feels good. And every win counts, especially as the Dubs try to stave off the Dallas Mavericks to hold onto the third seed.
It wasn’t the most interesting of games, so I understand if you’d rather watch the San Francisco Giants season opener, or Tiger Woods’ return than read about the Warriors right now. But if you’re one of those divine humans who can’t get enough Dubs coverage, then this is for you. Let’s grade all of the Warriors, and weight for our expectations of them.
Note: league-average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.5% entering Friday’s games.
26 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 5-for-9 shooting, 55.6% TS, -1
It wasn’t the most notable game for Green, but something tells me he would have brought a little something extra had LeBron and AD been playing. Still, Dray was aggressive looking to score, which always seems to help the offense out, and he did his usual well-rounded work, tallying 7 assists and 4 stocks.
Most importantly, he looks physically ready for the postseason after missing a huge chunk of time.
27 minutes, 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 7-for-12 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 70.8% TS, +2
Wiggins seems to be shaking off his two-month slump. He’s not putting up huge scoring numbers, but that doesn’t matter. He’s shooting efficiently, which is what the Warriors really need from him, especially with Jordan Poole’s emergence and Klay Thompson rounding into form.
Scoring 17 points on 12 shots is excellent, and the Warriors will take it eight days a week. The defense and playmaking wasn’t great in this game, but certainly a good performance.
15 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-2 shooting, 100.0% TS, -10
There’s really not much to evaluate about Looney’s season at this point, though it’s still worth paying attention as he nears in on playing a full 82-game campaign.
He keeps getting the token starts, but he won’t play many minutes, or make much of an impact until Steph Curry returns.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
33 minutes, 33 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 12-for-22 shooting, 6-for-10 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 70.8% TS, +5
There can be no better development over the final games of the regular season than Klay rounding into form. This was the Klay of old, before injuring his ACL and his Achilles and being forced to watch from the sidelines for two and a half years.
You felt that every shot he took was going to go in, and he added some rebounds and assists to go along with it, plus some solid defense. A vintage performance, and just in time to do it in the games that really matter.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
33 minutes, 19 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-15 shooting, 3-for-8 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 59.8% TS, +2
Poole’s streak of games with 20 or more points came to an end after he finished a single point shy of extending it. I take full blame, everyone. I’m sorry.
Jordan Poole finished with 19 points, which means I owe y’all an apology for writing this yesterday pic.twitter.com/Vk27F1b8Bw— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) April 8, 2022
An efficient 19 points and 11 assists is still a hell of a game though. Poole is playing with so much control, and the confidence that he’s one of the best players on the court.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
15 minutes, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-5 shooting, 1-for-1 free throws, 82.7% TS, +12
Bjelica continues to round into form right as the postseason appears on the horizon. The passing has always been there, but now the turnovers are limited. The rebounding is extra aggressive. And now the scoring is becoming more and more efficient.
He certainly looks like he’ll be playing a notable role in the postseason.
8 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 61.5% TS, -1
Two ways to look at Kuminga’s game: 6 points and 4 rebounds in 8 minutes of action is impressive, and only getting 8 minutes is telling.
He’s not a big part of the rotation right now, which is understandable — he’s a rookie, he still has rookie habits, and he fouls like it’s going out of style.
21 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-7 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 35.7% TS, +12
How Iguodalaian is it to have 7 assists and a +12 plus/minus in just 21 minutes of action? Iguodala didn’t have his best defensive game, and certainly didn’t score efficiently. But like with Dray, the important thing is simply that he looked healthy and ready for the postseason.
Otto Porter Jr.
30 minutes, 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-12 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 41.7% TS, +35
I love funky plus/minus numbers. The Warriors outscored the Lakers by 35 points in Porter’s 30 minutes ... and were outscored by 19 points in the 18 minutes when he was on the bench. Does he deserve all the credit for that? No. Does he deserve most of it? Also no. But is it really fun to look at? Absolutely yes.
Porter looks like he might be the most heavily-used player off the bench, excluding Poole, who will presumably move out of the starting lineup when Curry returns. He’s not always going to score efficiently (as evidenced by this game), but he’ll always be a threat from downtown, a devoted rebounder, and a quality defender.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and plus/minus.
2 minutes, 0 points, 2 fouls, 0 plus/minus
Averaging a foul per minute is not a good thing, but it’s garbage time. Whatever.
2 minutes, 2 points, 1 assist, 1 foul, 1-for-1 shooting, 100.0% TS, 0 plus/minus
Lee is definitely out of the rotation at the moment, but he certainly seems to be staying ready for if his number is called.
Gary Payton II
25 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 63.5% TS, +20
Another crooked plus/minus number!
Nothing bad at all to say about GPII’s performance ... he scored, and efficiently. He flew high for some boards, and played his usual spectacular defense. You get the feeling that he’s going to be a difference maker in a playoff game or two.
2 minutes, 3 points, 1-for-1 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 150.0% TS, 0 plus/minus
You would assume that, given the players resting for the Lakers, that Steve Kerr was hoping to get more than a pair of garbage-time minutes for the back of the bench, but oh well.
Thursday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Chris Chiozza, Quinndary Weatherspoon, James Wiseman