The script was similar on Friday night. The Golden State Warriors once again fell behind by double digits early, and once again erased the deficit with dynamic two-way play. It wasn’t as dramatic as in their wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers but Friday night’s 108-99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans was at least reminiscent.
Remarkably, the Dubs swept a five-game home stand without a single game played by Steph Curry or Andrew Wiggins. (not to mention two absences by Draymond Green). They’re clicking on all cylinders right now (minus the first-quarter cylinders), and reinforcements are on the way: Curry is expected to return on Sunday.
Now let’s grade the players that were in action on Friday night. As always, grades are weighted based on my expectations for each player, with a “B” grade representing the average performance for someone.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a shooting efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Friday’s games, league-average TS was 58.0%.
24 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 6 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 50.0% TS, +4
A pretty rough game from Green. He had to sit on the bench just a few minutes in after getting in foul trouble, and was limited in the second half as well, before fouling out in the final minute. He was a massive part of the team’s second-half defensive performance, when they held New Orleans to just 42 points, but other than that he played really poorly.
The best thing you can say about his performance, other than the second-half defense, is that he avoided picking up the technical foul that would have resulted in an automatic suspension … despite flirting with it all game long.
24 minutes, 10 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-6 shooting, 83.3% TS, +4
Just another day at the office for Looney. This type of performance has become the norm from him. He patrolled the paint, controlled the glass, and showed just how good his offense has gotten with some perfect timing and angles on his rolls to the rim.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
34 minutes, 27 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 10-for-17 shooting, 4-for-9 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 72.0% TS, +4
If Klay is scoring this well and this efficiently right now, just imagine what he’s going to look like when his fellow Splash Brother gets integrated back into the lineup.
Not only is he controlling the offense, but he’s still so clutch, with huge threes whenever the Warriors need them. His playmaking was some of the best that I’ve ever seen it in this game, and he didn’t look at all compromised playing the back end of a back-to-back.
What a joy.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
32 minutes, 3 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 50.0% TS, +1
A strong reminder from DiVincenzo that even guards don’t need to score to impact the game. With the Warriors playing pretty sluggish out of the gates, DiVincenzo provided a burst of energy in addition to his outstanding perimeter defense on CJ McCollum. And six assists? Yep. He can do a little bit of everything.
Helps that the one shot he made was at a huge moment.
34 minutes, 18 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-13 shooting, 0-for-5 threes, 12-for-12 free throws, 49.2% TS, +11
We’ve seen Poole have plenty of bad shooting nights this year. What we haven’t seen much of is what he did on Friday: relentlessly attacking the rim to get easy shots at the charity stripe, and running around the defense like a scrambling quarterback until a play developed to make for a teammate.
This was huge progress for Poole, who didn’t settle for step-back jumpers when he got cold.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
32 minutes, 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 9-for-13 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 73.1% TS, +13
Am I being a prisoner of the moment if I say that this was the best game of Kuminga’s career?
In the last few games, we’ve really seen things start to come into focus for JK. This is what the team envisioned when they drafted him. This is why he was a lottery pick. This is why Steve Kerr said so many times — publicly and privately — that if he focuses on defense and on making the right reads, the results will follow.
He flashed dominance in this game, and was effective in pretty much every facet of the game. He looked like a player who could be a perennial All-Star, or at the least, a high-quality starter on a great team.
Post-game bonus: Best plus/minus on the team.
15 minutes, 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 1 foul, 5-for-7 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 79.9% TS, -1
Green has had one and a half feet out of the rotation in the last few games, but with his fellow namesake in foul trouble early in this one, he was pressed into action. And he answered the call in a huge way. There was energy. There were a ton of rebounds. There were emphatic dunks. There were some of his best defensive moments since donning a Dubs jersey.
He might not be able to have an impact every night, but there are some nights where he’s a critical piece.
17 minutes, 11 points, 1 assist, 1 foul, 4-for-10 shooting, 3-for-8 threes, 55.0% TS, +5
Lamb’s shooting was better than the numbers suggest, because he had a pair of times where he took wild shots to bail out the team at the shot clock buzzer. But beyond some well-timed threes, he didn’t really make much of an impact in this one.
He only has one game remaining on his two-way eligibility.
22 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 20.0% TS, -3
Jerome’s offense has hit a wall of ice lately. In his last four games he’s shooting just 4-for-18 from the field, and 0-for-7 on threes. He’s doing a lot of other things well though, but defenses are definitely not paying close attention to him.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
6 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, +7
After being relegated to garbage time in the last two games, Moody actually got some run in this contest, starting the second quarter.
He didn’t really do much, but didn’t get much of an opportunity, either.
Friday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Lester Quiñones
Friday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins