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Player grades: Warriors vs. Nets

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 109-98 win over Brooklyn.

Steph Curry smiling as he runs down the court, reaching his hand out to high-five a teammate. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

After a slow start, the Golden State Warriors turned things around and handled business on Monday night, notching a 109-98 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets. While certainly not where they need to be, it sure seems like the Dubs are trending in the right direction, starting a five-game road trip with nice wins sandwiching an overtime loss.

Now let’s quickly grade the players. As always, grades are 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 Monday’s games, league-average TS was 58.2%.

Draymond Green

30 minutes, 8 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 66.7% TS, +11

A few poor turnovers for Draymond, but an otherwise very solid game. Since returning from his lengthy suspension, Green is, in my opinion, playing his best basketball since the 2021-22 season, when the Dubs hoisted a trophy.

Good defense and good passing are what we’ve grown to expect from Green, but now that he seems to be a full-time center, we’re getting used to good rebounding, too.

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

Jonathan Kuminga

33 minutes, 28 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 9-for-18 shooting, 10-for-12 free throws, 60.1% TS, +5

Another day, another 20-point outing from JK, who is quickly becoming automatic. As has been the case lately, his offense was not only fruitful, but important beyond the numbers. As Golden State struggled to score in the early going, JK muscled his way to the bucket to force a few easy looks. He wasn’t particularly efficient in the first half, but the Dubs needed someone who could get looks as the team stalled, and the third-year forward provided.

And then he turned it on in the second half.

Yet while another 20-point night will grab the headlines, it’s the 10 rebounds that will probably get Steve Kerr’s attention. And it’s the 12 free throw attempts that not only give Golden State’s offense a new dimension, but offer a sign as to how Kuminga’s offense might evolve from “very good” to “borderline unstoppable.”

Grade: A

Steph Curry

34 minutes, 29 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 fouls, 12-for-24 shooting, 4-for-11 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 59.3% TS, +6

Curry had a funny stretch in the second quarter where he seemed annoyed at how ugly the Warriors offense had gotten, and wanted to take matters into his own hands. Sometimes his showmanship comes from a sense of theatrics; this time it seemed to come more from annoyance and sheer determination.

It certainly set the tone though. After scoring just 43 points in the first half, Golden State dropped 32 in the third quarter alone, winning the frame by double-digits. And then they were off.

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

Klay Thompson

30 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-9 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 44.4% TS, -1

Klay was starting to turn things around recently, but this recent stretch of games has been pretty hard to watch. Thankfully he seems to be keeping a positive attitude, even after getting benched down the stretch in favor of a wholly unproven and mostly unplayed rookie.

Ironically, this was one of Thompson’s better games in recent memory in terms of the non-scoring stuff. But the scoring and shooting was poor enough that it unfortunately didn’t matter all that much.

Grade: C-

Brandin Podziemski

38 minutes, 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 fouls, 6-for-14 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 47.6% TS, +11

Podziemski didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but that was just about the only thing he didn’t do well. I’m not sure when I’ll get used to a player of his physical stature grabbing so many rebounds, and never looking like he’s stat-hunting in the process.

The care with the ball is rather stunning for a rookie guard who plays with as much flair and creativity as young Podz; over his last three games, he’s played 111 minutes and dished out 22 assists ... without a single turnover.

Absurd.

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

Dario Šarić

4 minutes, 3 points, 1 steal, 1-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 43.6% TS, -3

Super Dario returned after an absence due to a sickness, but he only played four minutes. Perhaps that’s just the minutes carousel now that Green is a center — you’ll notice that Trayce Jackson-Davis didn’t play. Or perhaps Šarić started feeling ill again.

Either way, a short and relatively non-impactful stint.

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

Kevon Looney

13 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 4 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 50.0% TS, +3

Looney seems to be fouling a little bit more, which may be because the team’s defense is worse, or possibly is because he’s struggling more in athletic moments. Then again, he may just be more aggressive defensively now that he’s in a more limited role.

Other than the fouls, his defense was solid, and it was nice to see him dish out some assists, which really was an amazing transformation in his game last year.

Grade: B

Gui Santos

18 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 3-for-3 free throws, 71.2% TS, +13

I’ve always been a Santos fan, but ... yes, I’m as shocked as you all are. I did not have Santos playing huge minutes in a game at this point in the season, unless it was because everyone was resting. I certainly didn’t have him looking so smooth, comfortable, and, dare I say, dynamic, or forcing his way into a closing lineup.

Where does he go from here? Where does Kerr go from here? It’ll be harder and harder to find minutes for Santos when Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul, and Gary Payton II return, and Moses Moody works his way back to full strength. But I think we’re all itching to see what the slick rookie that the Nets broadcast referred to as “Manbun” can do with another opportunity.

What a fun player.

Grade: A+
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.

Moses Moody

15 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 40.0% TS, +5

Moody’s back! After a nine-game absence with a strained calf, the third-year guard returned to action. He seemed to be on a bit of a minutes restriction (understandably), and he had a fair amount of rust (also understandably). But it was just good to see him out there, being his usual smooth, mistake-free self.

Grade: B-

Lester Quiñones

24 minutes, 3 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 1-for-7 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 19.0% TS, +5

Q had a mini Podz game. And if you want to know how the Warriors out-rebounded the Nets by 22 boards, you can start by the combined 18 rebounds that those two snagged, despite being two of the smallest players on the court.

Quiñones can play. The Warriors have been telling us that for a while, and now they’re giving him a chance to show it. And he’s showing it.

Obviously not a good scoring night, but whatever. He’s a quality basketball player.

Grade: B+

Monday’s DNP-CDs: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Cory Joseph

Monday’s inactives: Usman Garuba, Chris Paul, Gary Payton II, Jerome Robinson, Andrew Wiggins

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