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Player grades: Warriors vs. Wolves

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 116-110 loss to Minnesota.

Steph Curry driving by a Minnesota defender. Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, this is officially not fun anymore. The Golden State Warriors lost again on Sunday, this time dropping a home game to the Minnesota Timberwolves by a score of 116-110. As was the case during Saturday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the game was not nearly as close as the final score would indicate, as it was only some awesome desperation by the garbage time unit that made things look respectable.

And as was the case Saturday, I’m going to try and run through this quickly because the less time spent writing about, thinking about, or reading about this game, the better.

I was tempted to give Steph Curry a good grade and then just grade everyone else together with a failing grade. That’s kind of how things are going right now for the Dubs. But instead, I’ll actually do my job, and grade each player. Just know that I’m grumping about it while I do it!

As always, grades are based on my expectations of each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Sunday’s games, league-average TS was 57.1%.

Draymond Green

24 minutes, 9 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 57.1% TS, -11

A day after taking himself out of the game with a pair of technical fouls, Green somewhat took himself out of this game with a high personal foul count. He was Golden State’s second-best player by a mile this weekend, but only played 42 minutes across the back-to-back for those reasons.

When he wasn’t fouling, he was having a really good game. He played a massive role in the Warriors winning the rebounding battle against a twin-center lineup, and he made some great passes.

I’m fully here for the scoring revelation. Green entered the game tied for his career high in points per 36 minutes, and he’s currently rocking a 61.8% true-shooting percentage, while making 45% of his threes and 88.9% of his free throws.

The Warriors need those things right now, far more than I thought they would.

Still, it’s hard to give Green a good grade with how little he played, even though he was pretty darn good when he did play (his defense is still lagging a bit, though).

Grade: B-
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.

Kevon Looney

19 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 33.3% TS, -12

Looney struggled against Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. He didn’t play much and he didn’t play well.

Grade: C-

Andrew Wiggins

25 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0-for-2 free throws, 38.1% TS, -13

I’m starting to sound like something of a broken record with Wiggins. Every game seems to be some variation of the same: some good on-ball perimeter defense, but with lapses, struggles, poor decisions, and bad off-ball defense. A great job attacking the offensive glass, and an extremely poor job attacking the defensive glass. Stagnant and passive offense, with a flat jump shot and a case of the yips at the charity strip. An inability to provide much of anything on that end of the court when not scoring. The famed best starting lineup in the NBA looks pretty bad right now, and while that’s not solely on Wiggins’ shoulders, he’s definitely the main character.

The overall numbers are very grim. Wiggins has been held to single digits four times already this year, which is more than in his entire All-Star season. He’s averaging just 10.5 points per game, shooting 15.4% on threes, and 50% on free throws. In 285 minutes, he has just 20 defensive rebounds and 11 assists.

The Warriors have been outscored by 74 points when Wiggins is on the court; they’ve outscored their opponents by 103 points when Wiggins is on the bench.

It’s getting tough to watch.

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

Steph Curry

36 minutes, 38 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 11-for-25 shooting, 5-for-13 threes, 11-for-12 free throws, 62.7% TS, -4

Curry has played in all 11 of the Warriors games. His 11 scoring totals are the team’s 11 highest scoring totals of the year. They still have just one 20-point performance from a player other than him.

This is getting ridiculous. I’m not sure how to grade Steph, because right now he’s being asked to do so much that even when he does things like turn the ball over five times with just three assists, I’m not sure how much to blame him.

He kept the team nominally in the game, when it felt like his teammates were actively trying to do the opposite.

Grade: B+
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

Klay Thompson

33 minutes, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 5-for-16 shooting, 3-for-10 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 43.3% TS, +4

Klay’s shot selection was really good early in the year, and it’s certainly not awful right now. But it does feel a bit like he’s pressing out of desperation to get Curry some help ... and, as with Curry, how much can I knock Thompson for that impacting his game?

It does feel like there’s a concerted effort to be more of a playmaker, rebounder, and defender until last year. But it’s hard to imagine this team getting where they want to get without Klay becoming more of an offensive weapon again.

He still doesn’t have a 20-point game this season.

Grade: C

Dario Šarić

27 minutes, 11 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 55.0% TS, +2

Perhaps the most notable part of Šarić’s performance was that it highlighted how willing Steve Kerr is to have Dario supplant Looney in the rotation when the matchup or performance dictates it. Šarić played significant minutes in this game, logging more court time than all but the Splash Brothers.

And you could see why. The offense functioned much better with him on the court, and he was gobbling up rebounds.

Grade: B+
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Jonathan Kuminga

24 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 fouls, 2-for-11 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 6-for-7 free throws, 35.5% TS, +5

I’m going to keep highlighting the fact that Kuminga is drawing fouls at a high rate, and showing an ability to attack the rim when the rest of his game isn’t working.

I’m going to keep highlight that partially because of how true it is, and partially because there’s not really anything else to highlight about Kuminga’s game right now.

Grade: C-

Trayce Jackson-Davis

1 minute, 2 points, 1 assist, 1-for-1 shooting, 100% TS, +6

I’m going to repeat something I said on Saturday about Cory Joseph: It’s usually not a good sign when your garbage-time player leads the team in plus-minus.

I think most fans would have liked to see TJD get more play in this game, though it’s worth noting that this was the end of a back-to-back-to-back for Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski, who played in Saturday’s Santa Cruz Warriors game in the G League.

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

Chris Paul

22 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 25.8% TS, -1

This was not a good CP3 game. Is that cause for concern? No. But it is worth pointing out.

Grade: D+

Gary Payton II

14 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-2 shooting, 100% TS, -2

A kind of nondescript game for GPII. On the whole, he did more good than bad, but didn’t really make much of an impact.

Grade: B-

Moses Moody

13 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-6 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 16.7% TS, -10

Moody was one of the few bright spots during Saturday’s loss. He was not one of the few bright spots during Sunday’s loss.

Grade: D+

Brandin Podziemski

1 minute, 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 3-for-5 shooting, 2-for-2 threes, 80% TS, +6

Normally a player who only gets a minute of garbage time gets an incomplete grade from me. But Podziemski used his minute of garbage time to almost singlehandedly make the game interesting.

What Podz did on both ends of the court in his 76 seconds of action was a masterclass in using a limited opportunity to show your coach you deserve more run. It was also a masterclass in how to make your points per 36 minutes rate skyrocket.

Grade: A
Post-game bonus: Tied for the best plus/minus on the team.

Sunday’s DNP: Cory Joseph

Sunday’s inactives: Usman Garuba, Lester Quiñones, Jerome Robinson, Gui Santos

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