April 23, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Jordan Paul, Klay Thompson graded as Warriors vs. Clippers win

Jordan Paul, Klay Thompson graded as Warriors vs. Clippers win

For the second time in three nights, the Golden State Warriors overcame a double-digit first half deficit to pull off a blowout. This time they were 11 less in half to Los Angeles Clippers, before a staggering 42-16 third quarter overturned the entire script. You’d never have guessed when LA went into the locker room completely in control that Ty Lue would wave the white flag with a whopping eight minutes left in the game.

Not real. One of the best performances of the year, the Dubs are probably playing their best basketball this year, despite losing a couple of starters, including the face of their franchise. Permission to be optimistic is granted.

Now, let’s rate the amazing people who have accomplished it. As always, the scores are weighted based on my predictions for each player. The grade “B” represents the player’s average performance.

Note: The true shooting percentage (TS) is a measure of scoring efficiency that accounts for threes and free throws. The average TS for the league is 58.0%.

Draymond Green

29 minutes, 11 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 0-for-1 three-pointers, 1-for-2 free throws, 69.8% TS, +19

Had this game not seen so much garbage time, Green would have had his first triple of the season. But that is not what I want to talk about.

We need to talk about defense. It was probably the best defensive effort of the season for the Warriors, though it’s worth noting that they were helped by an unsustainable shooting night from outside the arc – Paul George, Eric Gordon and Norman Powell won’t combine to shoot 3-for-25 from distance again either way. Soon, even if they are blindfolded. But even this, the defense was formidable.

Green is the core of what the Warriors have always done defensively. He was immaculate in this game, running back 15 feet from Russell Westbrook (who had more turnovers than caught) and playing a rover on defense that would make an All-Pro safety proud.

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Grade: a

Post-game reward: He led the team in assists.

Kevon Looney

25 minutes, 11 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 0-for-1 triple, 3-for-4 free throws, 62.8% TS, +17

Looney has been dominating the Cup lately, but Mason Plumley outlasted him in this game, winning the battlefield rebounding 20-8. His defense was still great, and he had some offensive points, but it was still shocking to see someone do such an act against him.

Grade B-

Clay Thompson

30 minutes, 19 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fumbles, 7-for-16 shooting, 3-for-8, 2-for-2 throws, 56.3% TS, +16

Clay has been keeping the Warriors afloat lately by shooting him. But in this game, it was his all-around game that got the job done. Despite Looney losing the rebounding battle for position by double digits, the Dubs still held off the Clippers 60-47, in part because Clay had a career-high 11 boards. He’s had some of his best passing this season, and his defense has looked great.

Klay often has a really good game that doesn’t involve burning nets, but this was one.

Grade: B+

Post-game reward: Tied to lead the team in rebounds.

Donte Divincenzo

31 minutes, 5 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-10 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 25.0% TS, +22

It was an uncharacteristically bad offensive night for Divincenzo, who couldn’t buy a bucket and finished without an assist. Yet he still made a huge effect in this game.

Like Clay, DiVincenzo has been all over the place. He blinked as if his job depended on it. His defense was absolutely exceptional…he was asked to protect a much bigger star in Paul George, and he got him to shoot 3-for-15 and only four free throws.

Sometimes people criticize me for putting too much stock in how offense or defense looks with a player on the field, rather than their tangible contributions. But if you watched this game, you understand what I mean when I talk about it. DiVincenzo’s stats seem pretty modest, but damn…the Warriors only a job when playing.

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Grade: B+

Post-game reward: Tied to lead the team in rebounds, the best plus / minus on the team.

Jordan Paul

32 minutes, 34 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 1 fumble, 9-for-20 shooting, 5-for-12 triples, 11-for-12 free throws, 67.3% TS, +19

Paul was a pretty tough first half, but he was nothing short of a stellar second half. In a game featuring five future Hall of Famers, Paul spent the second half being the best player on the court, tallying 25 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

I probably shouldn’t excuse my poor first half or the sheer number of heat checks he shot, but I’m going tonight. It was a reminder of how dynamic Paul is, how creative he is with scoring and playmaking, how well he can balance offense on the edge, get to the free throw line, and pound in threes, and also how much defensive potential he has.

Grade: a

Post-game reward: He led the team in points.

Jonathan Cuminga

29 minutes, 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 7-for-12 shooting, 3-for-4 three-pointers, 2-for-3 free throws, 71.3% TS, +19

This game was the complete package for Kuminga. Perhaps the most diverse game yet. it’s hot. Drove. He cut. he passed. He came out in a transitional period. setting screens. brisk. He defended as if his only goal was to make Draymond proud.

It really comes into its own. Not only is this huge for warriors, but it’s an absolute pleasure to see.

Grade: a

Jamical Green

5 minutes, 0 points, 1 foul, -2

Second game in a row where JMG had a short run in the second quarter, then never came back. After a long period of gaming, he’s often off shift now. It’s hard to get upset given how well Looney, Kuminga, and Draymond did.

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Grade: C-

Anthony Lamb

27 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 fouls, 1-for-7 shooting, 1-for-5, free throws 2-for-2, 31.7% TS, +9

I stand by my view from Tuesday’s game, which is that Lamb has improved a lot in finding ways to help the team, even when his stats are just as ugly… as they were on Thursday.

It wasn’t a good game for him, but he was a lot better than the stat sheet indicates. His shooting is really struggling at the moment: In his last 10 games, Lamb has been shooting 5-for-27 from three-point range.

Grade: c

Patrick Baldwin Jr

9 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 fouls, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-3 triples, 33.3% TS, -5

For the third straight match, Baldwin got some honest-to-goodness rotations. Not many of them, but some. It’s fun to see, and he seems steadily ahead of Musa Modi on the depth chart at the moment.

His three-point shot didn’t fall flat in this one, but we got to see more of his all-around game than we’ve ever seen before. He moved the ball well, cut well, and played probably the best defense of his young career. Plus, the broadcast revealed that he’s grown two inches since the draft, and is now 6’11”!

b grade

Post-game reward: The worst plus / minus in the team.

T Jerome

20 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1-for-6 shooting, 0-for-4 three-pointers, 2-for-2 free throws, 29.1% TS, +6

A tough shooting night for Jerome, but a solid game that runs the offense flawlessly.

Grade: c

Musa Modi

5 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1-on-2 Shooting, 1-on-2 Triplets, 75.0% TS, 0 +/-

Just it’s trash time for Moody again.

Grade: incomplete

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