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Player grades: Warriors vs. Celtics Game 1

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 120-108 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

2022 NBA Finals - Game One Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Well, Game 1 did not go as planned.

For just the third time since Steve Kerr took over as head coach, the Golden State Warriors lost the first game of a series (for what it’s worth, they’re 1-1 when dropping Game 1, and 20-1 when winning Game 1). Despite holding a big lead, the Dubs surrendered 17-straight points to the Boston Celtics late in the fourth quarter, and lost 120-108.

It’s no time to panic, but there is a lot of work to do. But before we get there, we need to grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each.

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

Draymond Green

38 minutes, 4 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 6 fouls, 2-for-12 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 0-for-3 free throws, 15.0% TS, -1

It wasn’t a particularly great game for Green. I’ve often said that the offense functions better when he’s being aggressive, even if he’s not shooting well, but he really tested that theory with a dreadful shooting performance.

Boston asked him to try and beat them, and he tried, and didn’t make it very far.

But there were good things. The rebounding was crucial, and he played very strong defense. And, whether you like or dislike him displaying this type of public confidence, he certainly made it clear that he thinks the Warriors are still in a fine position.

Grade: C+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, tied for the team lead in assists.

Andrew Wiggins

35 minutes, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 8-for-15 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 63.0% TS, -11

Wiggins had a few possessions where he fell back on some old habits and took offense-slowing, contested long twos. But other than that he had a really strong game scoring the ball ... and not many people on the Warriors could say that.

He also did a spectacular job on Jayson Tatum. The unfortunate stat standing in opposition to the one that Draymond posed is that Tatum shot just 3-for-17 ... a testament to Wiggins, but also not something the Warriors should expect to happen (or come close to happening) again.

But Wiggins shined on the NBA Finals stage in his first game.

Grade: A

Kevon Looney

24 minutes, 4 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 1-for-4 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 41.0% TS, -2

Looney playing the type of defense that he did, without recording a single foul, is downright remarkable.

The good news is Looney had six offensive rebounds. The bad news is that means he only had three defensive rebounds. Still, a strong performance on the glass.

His role is a bit up in the air given how big and talented Boston is, but he certainly played well enough on Thursday.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists.

Steph Curry

38 minutes, 34 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 12-25 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 63.5% TS, -9

Curry came out of the gates with a statement to make, and had 21 first-quarter points. He cooled off after that, but the damage was already done — or at least it should have been.

The chef was a huge reason for the Warriors being in prime position to win, and he wasn’t too much of the reason that they fell apart down the stretch.

Late in the game, Boston sent all their defensive attention at Curry and dared anyone else to beat them. With the Warriors role players struggling to score, Curry forced the issue a little bit, but I suspect that won’t be the case in future games when others (namely Klay Thompson) are playing better.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, tied for the team lead in assists.

Klay Thompson

39 minutes, 15 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 6-for-14 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 53.6% TS, -9

39 minutes of a playoff game with neither a turnover nor a foul is some impressive stuff.

Unfortunately, it was about all that Klay did in this game that was impressive. His shot wasn’t quite falling, and he wasn’t able to get to the rim for easy looks. He didn’t have a strong defensive game, and wasn’t doing much as a playmaker or a rebounder.

He’ll bounce back, and it will be great to see.

Grade: C

Nemanja Bjelica

1 minute, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1-for-1 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 150.0% TS, +3

I was curious to see if Bjelica would be part of the rotation in this series. So far, no, as he only appeared in garbage time.

Grade: Incomplete

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.

Jonathan Kuminga

1 minute, 0 points, 0 plus/minus

Kuminga is also not in the Finals rotation.

Grade: Incomplete

Andre Iguodala

12 minutes, 7 points, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 87.5% TS, -6

I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect Iguodala to play meaningful minutes this series. He hadn’t played since early in the first round due to an injury, and hadn’t looked all that good towards the end of the season.

But it’s hard to argue with his experience, his veteran savvy, and his chemistry with the Dubs’ core players. Steve Kerr — and Curry, Thompson, and Green — trust Iguodala, and even though there was a fair amount of rust, it was also clear why they trust him.

Grade: B+

Otto Porter Jr.

24 minutes, 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 4-for-5 shooting, 4-for-5 threes, 120.0% TS, -18

Don’t let the plus/minus fool you: this was an awesome game from Porter, and it was great to see him back on the court after missing the last two games with foot soreness.

The Dubs could use some of the elite rebounding that defined much of Porter’s season, but if all he does is keep the rock moving, play solid defense, and splash in some triples, they’ll live with that.

Grade: A-

Juan Toscano-Anderson

1 minute, 0 points, 1 assist, +3

It made me happy to see Oakland’s own play a home Finals game for the Warriors, even if he only played garbage time.

Grade: Incomplete

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.

Damion Lee

1 minute, 0 points, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, 0 plus/minus

Not surprisingly, Lee is also out of the rotation.

Grade: Incomplete

Jordan Poole

25 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 foul, 2-for-7 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 51.4% TS, -19

Well, Poole’s introduction to the NBA Finals was a rude one.

I’m not going to waste any energy here. It was a bad game. Scoring, playmaking, defense, decision-making, etc.

Bad games happen. Look for Poole to bounce back, and don’t spend another second thinking about this performance.

Grade: D

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

Moses Moody

1 minute, 0 points, +3

I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll see Moody play meaningful minutes at some point during this series.

Grade: Incomplete

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.

Thursday’s DNPs: Gary Payton II

Thursday’s inactives: James Wiseman