For the second straight game, the Golden State Warriors faced an incredibly up-and-coming team missing their franchise star, and came away with a game-winning shot by the Splash Brother with 0.2 seconds left.
What are the possibilities in the world for that?
This time the opponent was the Oklahoma City Thunder, who seemed unable to miss a shot, before watching the Warriors cruise to a 141-139 win. It was only the ninth time in franchise history — and the third time in the past 30 years — that Golden State won a game in which their opponent shot 60% or better from the field.
Don’t get used to it, kids, but again: a win is a win.
But it’s time to evaluate the players. As always, grades are based on my expectations for each player, with a ‘B’ grade representing that player’s average performance.
Note: True Shooting Percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency measure that accounts for three-pointers and free throws. The league average TS was 58.1% last year.
29 minutes, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 60.9% TS, -1
Green has looked rejuvenated on offense in this young season. Despite missing training camp and the first two games of the season, Dray has still played some of his best offense in recent years: the usual playmaking is there, but in his four games he is averaging 9.5 points (although he has yet to play fully) in minutes. ), while shooting 10-for-20 on twos, 4-for-10 on three-pointers, and 6-for-8 on free throws.
Like every Warrior, Green has been cooked a fair number of times on the other side of the court, but I tend to chalk that up to OKC making some crazy shots more than anything else.
11 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 69.4% TS, -1
Looney only played 11 minutes where he struggled with fouls, but honestly, it could have been a low-minutes night even if he didn’t have any foul issues. He struggled with both the athleticism of Jalen Williams and the size/wingspan/athletic combination of Chet Holmgren, and it was clear from the start that smaller lineups and Dario Saric were better options.
27 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, 6-for-11 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 5-for-8 free throws, 58.5% TS, -14
Easily Wiggins’ best game of the season. He set the tone for the Warriors early with an aggressive offense, and as they tried to overcome their deficit in the fourth quarter, he set the tone with a couple of huge passes on the offensive glass, where four of his five rebounds came. It was his highest points total of the season, and tied for his highest rebounds of the season.
It wasn’t all pretty, which is why he once again missed the closing lineup, and it certainly wasn’t his best day defensively; Then again, no one had!
Overall, it was a very encouraging performance from Wiggs, who sounded a lot like himself.
Post-match bonus: The worst plus minus on the team.
31 minutes, 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 9-for-15 shooting, 5-for-10 threes, 7-for-7 free throws, 83.0% TS, +5
Curry’s outrageous scoring continues to start the season. He added to his total points at the top of the league (185), even though this was a technical match reduced He averages “only” 30.8 points per game.
He’s shooting 72.2% on two-pointers this year, and 46.5% on three-pointers. Remember when his coach said he never had a better shooter this summer? Yes, about that…
Curry played the role of savior in this. Whenever the Thunder tried to run away with things, Curry came out and made a big shot. Or an unreal pass.
he had huge Layup down the stretch, with some solid defensive possessions, and was a threat on the glass, connecting the 7’1″ Holmgren for the high game.
And of course, he had the most important shot of the night, somehow getting to the rim and deftly contorting himself for what was ultimately deemed, after a few minutes of replay review, to be the game-winning shot.
You know the rule: there is only one score you can get when you win the game.
Post-match bonus: He led the team in points and rebounds.
33 minutes, 18 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 6-for-10 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 82.7% TS, 0 plus/minus
After opening night, I heard a lot of grumbling from fans who were concerned that Clay was shooting with a quick trigger and making ill-advised shots, unlike last year…which ultimately led to a little interference from Green.
Curry and Chris Paul were quick to defend Thompson after that loss — their only loss this season — and said they liked the shots Klay hit. I agreed: I thought it was a good shot but it didn’t go in.
since then? He’s 14-for-25 on twos and 12-for-24 on threes. This will work.
He was also making huge plays down the stretch. Obviously his game-winning goal on Wednesday was a highlight, but Klay also had great late-game defense (he helped force a turnover in the final minute of this game), made good decisions and passes, and had ice in his veins (he tied game and the go-ahead throw with 38.1 seconds left in the game).
He leads the team in minutes per game! Great season so far.
20 minutes, 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 6-for-9 shooting, 4-for-7 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 92.9% TS, +3
With all due respect to Warriors legend and NBA champion Nemanja Bjelica, it’s definitely time to stop talking about “Saric is this year’s Bjelica.”
Šaric is similar to Bjelica, if Bjelica is much better in almost every part of basketball.
Super Dario showed how he can make a difference right away off the bench, hitting a hat-trick of triples in the first quarter and scoring a team-high 11 points in the quarter…points the Warriors desperately needed.
He showed scoring later in the game as well, but it was his rebounding, passing and speed that really impacted the game. His relationship with Paul is quite evident, and the two skilled, cautious and extremely talented veterans give the bench unit plenty of composure.
It took a few games for him to start shooting, but in the last two games, Saric has scored 35 points in 40 minutes, while shooting 12-for-18 from the field and 7-for-12 from beyond the arc.
I have to give Leah a hand after her great article.
22 minutes, 19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 9-for-15 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 59.8% TS, +3
This was kind of a tale of two Kuminjas, for better and for worse.
The positive is that Kuminga has given us our biggest glimpse yet of his potential as a team-changing lone goalscorer. We’ve seen better attacking games from him, but this was – in my opinion – the best we’ve ever seen him fit into the role of go-to scorer. He wasn’t forcing the action, he wasn’t taking bad shots, but he was showing the ability to take the ball 10 seconds before the shot clock, go to work, cook his defender, and get a good look. The Warriors have had Wiggins and Jordan Paul in this role in previous years, and it was very exciting that it looked like Kuminga could fill that role. Having a player on the bench that you can give the ball to and get it away and trust that you’ll get a good shot is huge.
The downside is that Kuminga didn’t do much. He’s been all over the place this season (in the good sense of the word, not the out-of-control sense), but this game didn’t feature him much in terms of defense or rebounding.
But it definitely impressed me!
28 minutes, 1 point, 2 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals, 1 foul, 0-for-6 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 7.3% TS, +6
Are you ready for some wild statistics? Here they come!
The scoring and shooting have been poor, but that’s the only blemish on his resume in his first week and a half as a Warrior. And with the way he’s playing, Paul’s scoring won’t turn a bad season into a good one; He would turn a good season into an All-Star campaign.
I have a feeling I won’t have enough words this season to explain how important he is to this team. I don’t think they come close to winning this game if he doesn’t slow down and dominate the second unit in both halves.
Post-match bonus: He led the team in assists.
Gary Payton II
22 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 4-for-6, 1-for-3 shooting, 75.0% TS, +9
One of the things I was most looking forward to this season was seeing Payton healthy. Things never worked out in Portland, and he was sent back to the Dobbs family clearly ill. Even after being out for a month, it was clear that he was not as healthy and athletic as we were used to.
I was excited to see him return to form in 2021-22. Instead, we get something much better.
GPII has worked his way into a lot of late-game lineups this year thanks to his defensive edge, defensive versatility, activity on the glass (where rebound totals don’t accurately reflect his impact), and chops.
This time it resulted in a huge basket.
It seemed like Payton would have to play sparingly, even though he was excellent in his minutes. Now it looks like he needs a big rotation role: and he appears to be doing just that.
Post-match bonus: He led the team in plus/minus.
18 minutes, 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 57.1% TS, +4
Two things. First, after having his worst game of the season on Wednesday, Moody had a very average performance in this game. Secondly, part of the evolution of his game is that he still does really good things when he’s not at his best.
He’ll get a not-so-good grade from me. But in years past, a poor grade meant it severely hurt the team’s chances of winning. This year, that means it hasn’t had much of a positive impact on their chances.
I really like that the NBA makes teams use special courts for championship games during the season. If they’re going to commit to this championship experience, they need to go all out and do things that show that the game is an in-season championship game. Make the experience different, make people take notes, etc.
It’s a great idea. I love him.
But what is this in the Crash Bandicoot Lego childhood coloring book that shows the Vegas Light in Vegas Light Photoshop WWE VW Beetle???
DNPs for Friday: Usman Garuba, Corey Joseph, Jerome Robinson
Inactive on Friday: Trace Jackson-Davis, Brandyn Podzemski, Lester Quinones
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