clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Player grades: Warriors vs. Jazz

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 129-107 win over Utah.

Klay Thompson laying the ball in the hoop. Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but the Golden State Warriors are starting to click. With a 129-107 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night, the Dubs have now won five straight games, and have a winning record for the first time since December.

They’ve been one of the best teams in the NBA over the last few weeks, winning eight of their last 11 games while sporting one of the top net ratings in the league during that span. Let’s hope Monday’s blowout is going to lead to a win on Wednesday against the LA Clippers ... this is their fifth five-game winning streak, but they’re still in search of their first six-game streak.

Now it’s time to grade the players. As always, grades are based on my expectations of 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 Monday’s games, league-average TS was 58.3%.

Draymond Green

23 minutes, 12 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 85.7% TS, +11

Dray was limited by fouls in this game, and also by the product of the game not being very close, and acting head coach Kenny Atkinson not needing to push things too much. But my goodness what a game he had. With a full slate of minutes, Green would have blown past a triple-double, all while orchestrating another strong team defensive effort.

Plus, he had one of the most important plays of the game, nailing a half-court buzzer-beater at the end of the first half, to swing the pendulum of momentum back in Golden State’s favor after they started to slip up.

A great game. A great player.

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

Jonathan Kuminga

27 minutes, 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-10 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 55.4% TS, -4

With eight Golden State players netting double figures, Kuminga didn’t have to carry a huge offensive burden, and got to play a lighter role. He played it well on the offensive front, with some a good amount of restraint, even though it wasn’t the most efficient outing. And he played pretty solid defense, though the Dubs simply need him to grab more rebounds.

Ultimately it wasn’t his most in control game, as the turnovers point to. But we’ve certainly reached the point where even when Kuminga isn’t having his best game, he’s quite an asset.

Grade: C+

Andrew Wiggins

28 minutes, 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 6-for-10 shooting, 3-for-3 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 75.1% TS, +31

Wiggins’ game won’t jump off of the box score, but you only needed to have one eye on the game to see the impact he made. Put succinctly, good things happened when Wiggins was on the floor.

It started in the first quarter, when he made all three of his shots en route to seven points. And it continued all through the game; Wiggins was cutting and in constant movement on offense, creating opportunities for his playmakers.

He had another strong defensive game as he continues to look more and more like his 2021-22 self.

Welcome back, Wiggs?

Grade: A
Post-game bonus: Best plus/minus on the team.

Steph Curry

32 minutes, 25 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 9-for-19 shooting, 7-for-16 threes, 65.8% TS, +30

Only seven threes? What a bum! Curry couldn’t match his long-range shooting from the last few games, but uhh ... he was still excellent from beyond the arc. Over his last three games he’s shot a downright absurd 27-for-48 from deep. And the ones in this game? Well, to borrow a phrase from Bob Fitzgerald, he hit them from Provo.

You got the feeling that Curry could do anything he wanted in this game. He scored with silly efficiency, quarterback’d a gorgeous offensive performance, and even put on a show defensively.

He’s just phenomenal.

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

Klay Thompson

30 minutes, 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 11-for-19 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 66.9% TS, +1

No need to read into the plus/minus numbers, as they were primarily a function of Klay getting a chance to lead the second unit. As with Wiggins, every strong Klay game puts a big smile on my face.

Even though they come less often now, the threat of Klay’s Hall of Fame offense keeps defenses on their toes. Fans and analysts may criticize Thompson’s season, but I promise you that no NBA coach is in the locker room saying, “don’t worry about that guy, he’s having a down year.” I guarantee that no NBA defender is letting Klay slip a screen for an open three and thinking, “ehh, he’s not shooting very well this year, let him fire.”

Klay’s gravity is a weapon, and when his offense is also a weapon, the Warriors usually win. He also contributed quite a bit on the glass and defensively in this game, and he set the tone with five early points to start each half.

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

Dario Šarić

12 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, -4

Šarić hasn’t contributed too much lately, which is partially due to limited opportunities with Green now a nearly full-time center, and partially due to just not playing his best. Really nothing of note in this game.

Grade: C-

Kevon Looney

11 minutes, 0 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 foul, 0-for-2 shooting, 0.0% TS, +6

Looney has been stringing together some good games lately, as he’s really started to embrace his spot-minutes gig off the bench. He’s still as talented as ever, it’s just a little harder to find the minutes where that talent plays.

Grade: B+

Trayce Jackson-Davis

9 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4-for-4 shooting, 3-for-5 free throws, 88.7% TS, +14

It might not be the most fun thing for the players, but I’m really enjoying this game of backup center musical chairs, where Šarić, Looney, and TJD all bring their skills to the table and see which one plays the best on any given night against any given opponent.

The rookie won Monday’s musical chairs, with his springiness, finishing ability, and instincts bringing a critical flavor to the Dubs’ offense, while he had a really, really nice defensive game. It earned him some key minutes as the Warriors closed things out in the fourth.

I’m not sure how many times I have to say that his future is bright, but ... his future is bright.

Grade: A

Gui Santos

2 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 75.0% TS, +2

It was just garbage time for Santos, yet he sure can put some numbers in the stat sheet in a hurry even then, can’t he?

Grade: Incomplete

Gary Payton II

15 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 112.7% TS, +9

I sure do love a perfect shooting night! I’d been so anxious to get Payton back on the court for his defense that I almost forgot just how much of a dynamic presence he can be in this offense. GPII played somewhat sparingly — it was only his second game back after a very lengthy absence, after all — but he made his presence felt in every possible way.

Grade: A+

Moses Moody

9 minutes, 0 points, 5 rebounds, 0-for-8 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 0.0% TS, +13

Moody brought a whole lot of defense to the party. A whole lot of defense, a whole lot of rebounding, and a whole lot of toughness.

That said, it’s incredibly difficult to overlook taking eight shots in just nine minutes and making exactly zero of them. I’m not sure what to make of this game, other than to say that I liked the things he did, and I doubt he’ll ever shoot 0-for-8 in an NBA game again in his life.

Grade: C-

Lester Quiñones

16 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, -8

Quiñones has been something of a revelation for the Warriors lately, but this game was an exception. He just seemed a half-step behind the action on both ends of the court, though he did flash some of his playmaking chops.

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

Brandin Podziemski

25 minutes, 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 1 foul, 4-for-9 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 55.6% TS, +9

Let’s turn the negative into a positive and make a silver lining. Podziemski’s four turnovers were the second-highest mark in his career ... and just the second time he’s had more turnovers than assists in a game. That’s pretty ridiculous for such a young guard.

He had an efficient eight points in the first quarter, but then his offense faded, both in scoring and playmaking. I loved his defense in this game though ... he’s already flashing more potential on that end of the court than I ever thought he’d have.

Grade: B-

Monday’s inactives: Usman Garuba, Chris Paul, Jerome Robinson

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind