Well that was fairly pathetic. The Golden State Warriors put their worst foot forward against the team that likes to beat them the most, losing 131-110 to the Memphis Grizzlies in a performance that can only be described as abysmal.
I don’t want to write about it. You don’t want to read about it.
But let’s hold hands and power through this together.
As always, grades are measured based on my expectations for each player, with a “B” grade representing the average performance for that player.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Thursday’s games, league-average TS was 58.1%.
30 minutes, 16 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 5 turnovers, 1 foul, 5-for-9 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 6-for-6 free throws, 68.7% TS, -1
Green actually had a sneakily good game. Still ... this is probably setting unfair expectations, but after his public spat with Dillon Brooks this week, I kind of expected Dray to lead a rejuvenated defensive charge.
Instead, despite the bulletin board material, and despite facing a team missing its starting point guard, starting center, and a key bench player, the Warriors defense was truly horrific, even relative to their expectations ... which are low, since they’ve been the third-worst defensive team in the league on the road this season.
The quintet of turnovers Green had also pointed to just how out of control and sloppy and unfocused the Warriors have gotten.
So I dunno. Part of me wants to give him a decent grade. But I just can’t.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
34 minutes, 29 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 10-for-19 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 67.0% TS, +2
The fact that Curry has played as well as he had these last two games has just made it that much more awful that the Dubs have been mostly non-competitive. They have too much experience and too much talent — even with Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, and Gary Payton II sidelined — to play like a one-man show. But that’s kind of what they’ve been.
Another turnover-laden game points to the disconnect on the team right now, and Steph got worked on a few occasions defensively.
But he’s still playing like one of the best players in the league, and the Warriors seem intent on doing nothing with it.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, tied for the team lead in rebounds.
28 minutes, 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 6-for-14 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 50.0% TS, -19
Klay hasn’t been playing poorly, per se, but his play has kind of put on display some of the team’s issues. In the first quarter of this game the ball got batted out towards the scorer’s table, and looked like it was going to go out of bounds. It would have been the Warriors ball if it did. Thompson was the closest player to it and could have easily grabbed it. He took a few half-hearted steps, then decided to just let it go out of bounds and inbound the ball ... except a Memphis player who hadn’t given up on the play caught up to it while it was still in play, and ended up with a one-on-zero fast break.
That felt in line with Tuesday, when Thompson had at least two turnovers that made you think, “why did you throw it there when there isn’t a player there to catch it?”
None of these are inexcusable errors in a vacuum, but the whole team is making them right now, so each one feels like a straw breaking the camel’s back, and each one feels like it accurately explains what’s going wrong with the entire team.
Also, not very good defense in this game.
21 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 20.0% TS, -25
One of DiVincenzo’s worst games in a long time. Maybe his worst since the start of the season. He provided nothing on offense as a scorer or a playmaker, had an awful turnover to blow a three-on-two, and got worked defensively by Memphis’ physicality.
He’s now 8-for-34 from the field in his last five games, and 5-for-25 on threes. He’ll bounce back. But with key players sidelined, the Warriors really need that bounce back to happen soon.
34 minutes, 22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 1 foul, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 10-for-10 free throws, 76.4% TS, -33
The Warriors put Poole in the starting lineup so they go for a four-guard lineup, and after the game Steve Kerr admitted that they “got too cute.”
But lost in it all was that Poole had his best game in a long time, and was one of the best players on the floor for the Dubs.
Don’t get me wrong, there were still issues. The turnovers are still borderline out of control, and his defense — much improved all year long — has really been fading.
But he did what we — and I suspect, Kerr, and probably his teammates, too — asked him to do. He stopped settling for heat checks and gutsy threes. He attacked the rim. He got layups and lived at the free throw line. When he took threes they were open shots.
Poole’s head-scratching decisions have become staples of losses, but they were nowhere to be found in this one.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
18 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 foul, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 0.0% TS, +4
I’m not going to say that Iguodala was great in this game, because that would be ... well, that would be a bold-faced lie, wouldn’t it? But it was a game where you can easily see why Kerr trusts him so much, and what role he can play on the team.
Iguodala was a calming presence. He helped reset things when they weren’t going Golden State’s way. It was kind of like when the respected elderly person in your family shows up to dinner and suddenly everyone starts behaving better. The team was more disciplined and focused when Iguodala was on the court.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
18 minutes, 9 points, 1 foul, 3-for-8 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 56.3% TS, -17
It wasn’t JMG’s best game, but he did provide the team with some much-needed energy. And his trio of triples in the third quarter were a massive part of the Warriors making another run, even if that run fell short.
He had some good defensive possessions, though the Warriors need more than a donut in the rebounding column if he’s going to play serious minutes.
Still, nice boost of energy.
19 minutes, 2 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 50.0% TS, -4
Looney looked a lot better than he did on Tuesday, though it’s also clear that his back soreness — which has put him on the injury report for the last two games — is hindering him a little bit. He just doesn’t look 100%.
But he still did a lot of good things and the Warriors were generally better with him on the court.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in rebounds.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
14 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-8 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 31.3% TS, -2
Baldwin is mired in a little bit of a shooting slump that makes his quick trigger look a little suspect. But when you watch his mechanics, you understand why the Warriors are encouraging him to shoot every time he’s open ... and why he’s obliging.
He showed off a few more sides of his game in this one, and I thought he had a few really nice defensive possessions ... he even blocked a pair of shots!
The future is bright for the kid, even if he’s as rawer than tartare.
23 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 3-for-4 shooting, 3-for-4 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 112.7% TS, 10
Pretty awesome offensive game for Jerome. Pretty awful defensive game for Jerome. He has just four games of eligibility remaining on his two-way contract.
Thursday’s inactives: Jonathan Kuminga, Anthony Lamb, Moses Moody, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins