There are two ways to look at the Golden State Warriors’ 101-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, which gave Dobbs a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
The first point is that the Warriors played a gruesome attack, and were lucky to escape by defeating the missing Grizzlies Ja Morant. The second point of view is that the Warriors played a formidable defense and won.
The truth is definitely in the middle. It was a thrilling match with some awful performances, and it was pretty close to a break, but Golden State deserves credit for its impressive defensive display.
But overall the performance was not very good. So let’s extract some healthy doses from the red pen, and rank the players, keeping in mind our expectations for each of them.
Note: The TS has averaged 56.6% this season.
33 min, 2 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 turns, 5 shooting fouls 1 for 2, 50.0% TS, +6
For the fourth time in as many matches, the Warriors beat Memphis. That’s pretty incredible considering the difference in size between the two teams, especially now that Stephen Adams is back.
Green was a big part of that, and that was definitely the case on Monday night.
And despite all the struggles of the warriors, their defense was really impressive. They held 41.7% Memphis, including 25.7% from a distance, never letting the Grizzlies get into a groove. Green was the person most responsible for this.
But he really didn’t get involved in crime much in this matter.
Post-game rewards: He led the team in rebounds.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, -5
I’d be curious to see who starts the fifth game on Wednesday, after Cominga got the start but only played five minutes. His stats were good considering the limited minutes, but he was pretty weak and out of control in this match.
39 min, 17 points, 10 rebounds, 1 pass, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 spins, 7 for 13 shots, 1 for 5 triples, 2 for 3 free throws, 59.4% TS, +12
If you need to name someone a gamer, it’s Wiggins. It’s not particularly close either, and I don’t want to think about where the warriors in this game – or the series – would be without the wedges.
His defense was formidable, but he didn’t make a single mistake. He devoted himself entirely to glass, and played an enormous – I suppose the largest – role in the warriors’ victory in that battle.
He didn’t do all three, but his inspiration was just too strong otherwise. Just another exceptional game from Wiggins, who was notable in the series.
Post-game rewards: He led the team in plus / minus.
38 min, 32 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 3 turns, 3 fouls, 10 vs 25 hits, 4 vs 14 three-pointers, 8 vs 9 free throws, 55.3% TS, +6
Curry has really struggled to find his offensive rhythm in this game, and I think it’s safe to say he’ll be very happy when this streak ends (assuming the Warriors win) and he can take on a different defense. Memphis really defends him better than any team in the NBA.
Although his shot didn’t go down, Curry still played big after playing big in the fourth quarter, when Dubs overcame a 12-point deficit to win the match.
He made eight free throws in the last 45.7 seconds, equalizing the match, taking the lead, maintaining the lead, and aestheticizing the match. And he’s been hitting the ball really well all night…and he’s made eight assists when the team hits poorly which is impressive.
Post-game rewards: He led the team with points and made passes.
38 minutes, 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 3 turns, 6 for 20 shots, 0 for 7 triples, 2 for 2 free throws, 33.5% TS, -3
A lively counter effort and some solid defense from Clay. everything else? Uh… disgusting.
Hopefully Dubs can shut things down on Wednesday so Klay can rest and get his rhythm back before the conference finals.
Grade: D +
Otto Porter Jr.
26 min, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 spin, 3 fouls, 4 for 7, 4 for 6 triples, 85.7% TS, +4
Porter felt like an afterthought to stretch during the regular season. right Now? It’s hard to imagine where the warriors would be without him.
Shoot 4 vs 6 from a three point range. His teammates gathered to shoot 5 to 31.
As he’s done in the past few games, he’s done a little bit of everything, playing good defense across multiple positions, keeping the ball well moving, getting the Warriors into their combos, taking shots, and boxing. As the Warriors were rushing in, Porter seemed to have an answer.
15 min, 8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 spin, 1 foul, 3-on-5 shot, 2-on-2 free throws, 68.0% TS, -3
The Warriors will get 8 points and 9 rebounds in 15 minutes from Looney (or pretty much anyone), eight days a week. He stays ready, and made a real impact in this game when his number was called.
13 min, 2 points, 3 rebounds, shot 1 for 6, 0 for 2 triples, 16.7% TS, -7
I have no problem with Mike Brown turning into me in this game. With the Warriors attack playing out horribly, it made sense to set an oscillator and shoot to see what it could do. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and it didn’t give me much of anything else. But the thought process was somewhat sound.
Post-game rewards: The worst plus / minus in the team.
32 min, 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turns, 3 fouls, 4 for 12 shots, 0 for 3 threes, 6 for 6 free throws, 47.8% TS, +5
Paul did a good job finding alternative ways to influence the game in this game. When he couldn’t get clean shots, he found ways to play the difference. When he could not shoot, he attacked and reached the free throw line. He boasts a diverse skill set that allows him to help Warriors win, even on days like Monday, when he wasn’t playing well.
He also had some major plays.
Grade: C +
DNP on Monday: Nemanja Bellica, Moses Modi, Juan Toscano Anderson
Monday idle: Andre Iguodala, James Wiseman