Well, they did it again. Just as they did on Saturday, the Golden State Warriors found themselves in a tense, thrilling, and highly memorable playoff game against the Sacramento Kings. And just as they did on Saturday, they fell just short, this time losing 114-106 to fall behind 0-2.
I don’t have a bunch of emotional energy left to put into writing about this game, but let’s crank out some grades nonetheless. As always, grades are weighted based on my expectations, with a “B” grade representing the average performance for a player.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. League-average TS this year was 58.2%.
31 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 5 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 58.1% TS, -1
How you feel Draymond performed probably depends on lot on how you view “the stomp.” Did he get unjustly thrown out? Or did he win the stupid prizer associated with the stupid game, and put his team in a significantly worse situation with his actions?
I lean more towards the latter. The Warriors needed Green in the final minutes and he wasn’t there. They’ll need him Thursday, too, and there’s a chance he won’t be there, either. He’s one of my all-time favorite players, but this has happened far too many times for him to pull the “what was I supposed to do?” card.
Beyond that, it just wasn’t his best game. The first quarter was brilliant, with a 7-0 run all by himself, and some spectacular defense. But he spent the bulk of the game in foul trouble and was a turnover machine.
23 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, 5 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 42.9% TS, -3
A pretty rough game for Looney. He got worked a bit by Domantas Sabonis, and spent much of the game in foul trouble. He couldn’t get anything going on offense as a scorer or as a passer, and the league-leader in offensive rebounds was only able to grab one all night, despite 43 misses by the Warriors.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
39 minutes, 22 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 9-for-19 shooting, 2-for-8 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 55.3% TS, 0 plus/minus
A lot of good and a lot of bad in Wiggins’ return to the starting lineup. He’s pretty clearly the team’s best defender against De’Aaron Fox, but he also picked up five fouls along the way. He had the second-highest points total on the team, but also seemed to stagnate the offense quite a bit, settling for out of rhythm jumpers and letting the ball stop too often and for too long. He had 13 points in the third quarter when the Warriors desperately needed it, but was mostly unnoticeable for the rest of the game.
He definitely didn’t win the Warriors this game, but he damn sure didn’t lose it, either.
41 minutes, 28 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 9-for-21 shooting, 3-for-13 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 57.1% TS, +3
Two things can be true: Curry was far and away the best player on the court for the Warriors, and Curry did not play nearly as well as we’ve grown accustomed to him playing.
Sacramento may not have been a good defensive team this year, but they’re doing a spectacular job on Curry — although admittedly the defense on Curry looks better because his teammates aren’t punishing them for it.
Curry’s still making some infuriating turnovers when the team so desperately needs to be taking care of the ball. And his shot just wasn’t quite falling in this one.
For the series:— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) April 18, 2023
Warriors +14 in Curry’s 78 minutes on
Warriors -25 in Curry’s 18 minutes off
/insert “why don’t they just build the whole plane out of it” joke here.
I’ll repeat myself: Curry was easily the team’s best player, and also not as good as we’re used to seeing him.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
38 minutes, 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 7-for-13 shooting, 5-for-10 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 75.7% TS, -11
Klay’s numbers look pretty excellent. He filled up the box score in various ways, and was a highly-efficient scorer.
Yet it just didn’t feel like he played well. Had the Warriors won we would have remember him differently — particularly his back-to-back threes late in the fourth quarter as the Dubs were mounting a comeback.
Instead, we’ll remember him more for a little offensive passivity and some bad defense.
4 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, -10
Kuminga was put in a pretty difficult position in this game, as he was asked to step in when the frontcourt was in foul trouble. He can’t guard Sabonis, so he’s just not going to get minutes in this series. Just not a good matchup.
Steve Kerr went for a slightly different look for a few possessions and tried the other Green. That experiment didn’t last long.
Gary Payton II
27 minutes, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 5-for-6 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 94.5% TS, -1
Payton had some issues guarding Fox, which isn’t something we’re accustomed to seeing. Other than that though? He was absolutely dynamic. He made the defense instantly better in every lineup he was in, and he was a pest on the glass, far beyond what the numbers suggest. Also a very nice scoring game, as he’s finding his rhythm cutting and moving with the system.
He played 27 minutes and the Warriors needed all of them to stay in it.
13 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, -13
DiVincenzo has had a spectacular defensive game for the Warriors this year, but he’s gotten worked by Fox in this series. And in this game he didn’t do nearly enough on offense to make up for it.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
16 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-7 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 25.4% TS, -4
Poole was bad in this game. There’s simply no other word for it. That said, if we’re grading based on expectations, he deserves a little bit of a pass for playing through an injury. I’m not sure it was worth it for the team, but hard to hold him to too high of a standard.
Klay says JP is playing on "half a foot" pic.twitter.com/35Lhwdns9r— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 18, 2023
8 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 66.7% TS, +1
The Warriors turned to Looney at the very start of the third quarter after Draymond got into foul trouble. It was his first playing time this series. The first few possessions were a little tough, as he got foul happy (like the rest of the team). Then he made a stint later in the game and he played like a man possessed.
The Warriors have been seeking some aggression from Moody all year, and it finally showed up. He attacked relentlessly, as a scorer, defender, and rebounder. If he brings that energy and aggression on Thursday, he’ll likely play a big role.
Monday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Anthony Lamb
Monday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ryan Rollins