After missing the playoffs for the past two years, the Golden State Warriors returned with a vengeance. The Tubs have played their first playoff game since 2019. The Chase Center hosted its first playoff game. Finally, after 11 minutes of playing together over the past three seasons, Steff Curry, Clay Thompson and Tremond Green were able to share the court together on the biggest stage.
As a result, one game of the series against the Denver Nuggets at 123-107 was beautiful, glorious and a lot of fun. So we weigh everyone’s expectations and rank the players.
Note: The league average actual shooting percentage (TS) this season was 56.6%.
29 minutes, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 blocks, 2 faults, 5-for-7 shooting, 1-for-2 triples, 1-for-1 free throws, 80.7% TS, +21
Playoff Tremond: Activated.
Not much to say about Green, except that it was very similar to the player many considered the second best on the 2015 championship team. He was an electric playmaker, nine assists and no turnover. He was a brilliant defender who made life difficult for Nicola Joachim, while recording more blocked shots than mistakes. He also had an aggressive attacking option – deferring the best scorers when they were open, but attacking the ring when it was needed.
It’s always a good time when he’s making a three.
Steve Kerr preached about Green’s focus and preparation for the playoffs. It was on display throughout Saturday.
Post-match bonus: Led the team in assists, equalizing the team lead in plus / minus.
29 minutes, 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 theft, 1 turnover, 2 mistakes, 6-for-11 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 62.7% TS, +16
The Warriors pick up the show from Wiggins every day of the week. This is what they wanted from him. He was locked in self-defense, frantically hitting the glass, using his athletics to his advantage, and slashing, slashing, slashing.
With the appearance of Jordan Poole, Wiggins is the fourth choice in Warriors offense. When he does so, he is an excellent weapon, unhindered cutting and finding points for the open trio.
Post-match bonus: He took the team to the rescue.
13 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 errors, 2-for-3 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, 77.3% TS, -7
Looney excelled at defending the jockey and raised rebounds in his limited minutes. In addition, at the beginning of the game he had some big baskets. Honestly, this is a good performance for her.
But he doesn’t have a big role in this series. Even if he defends the jockey well, it makes more sense to put the Warriors Green – the jockey well – in the center position so they can push the ball over the court and use the jockey. The court (the jockey, despite his reputation, is remarkably a pretty defensive player, but he is very slow to retain a small line without getting tired, as happened on Saturday).
Post-match bonus: Bad plus / minus on the team.
29 minutes, 19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 errors, 7-for-15 shooting, 5-for-10 three, 63.3% TS, +5
Clay set the tempo in advance, hitting three after three in the opening minutes to shoot the chase center crowd. It was the electric first half for him in his first season game since tearing up his ACL in the 2019 NBA Final. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
He cooled in the second half, but by that time the damage was already over. What a beautiful scene.
30 minutes, 30 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 mistakes, 9-for-13 shooting, 5-for-7 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 90.8% TS, +7
There can be no greater guarantee of the superiority of the pool than this.
Steff Curry, he acknowledged that Jordan Poole’s play was a significant factor.
– Mark Medina (MarkG_Medina) April 17, 2022
But if you need another guarantee, here it is: Four definite Fire Hall of Famers on the court for a great playoff game, the best player in the pool game.
Let it soak.
This is his first playoff game and it’s a good time to remind you of it He is 22 years old. The way he embraced that moment is so impressive. It was clear that he wanted bright lights, more stocks and all the things that would smash so many players. That’s why he was here.
Then he hosted a show.
Grade: A +
Post-match bonus: Highlighted the team in points.
15 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 theft, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 mistakes, 3-to-6 shooting, 0-to-2 triples, 2-to-5 free throws, 48.8% TS, +1
Saturday confirmed something we all suspected after the last few months: Pigeon is in the post-season cycle. He’s not going to play a big role, but he will help to give some different look from the bench.
He was not his usual self in this because he fought skillfully and he was not a brilliant player who played often. But throwing a weird look really helps the offense, and he’s a good matchup when DeMarcus is on Cousins Court.
4 minutes, 1 point, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1-for-2 free throws, 56.8% TS, -6
Just junk time minutes for JK. I doubt we can see him playing at least a few meaningful minutes in this series.
13 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 2 mistakes, 0-to-1 shooting, 0-to-1 threes, 0.0% TS, +11
Iguodala did not play much in this game and I think we will not see him like other games in this particular match, I think the Warriors advanced in the first round. Steve Kerr really wants to be shooting on the court in this series, Denver does not have the perimeter firepower for Ikudala to protect what other teams provide.
Otto Porter Jr.
25 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 theft, 1 block, 1 turnover, 4 mistakes, 2-to-6 shooting, 0-to-3 threes, 33.3% TS, +21
Porter has emerged as a player who has to go out for the opening six as he does not have a better time frame. And I think this is the right decision for Kerr.
His stats in this game are not great, but the team performs very well when Porter is on the court. He is good at moving the ball and making intelligent decisions, he breaks the ground, he strikes the glass as a rebound and cutter, and he is an ultra-versatile defender.
He is set to play the lead role in this series.
Post-match bonus: Equals team lead in plus / minus.
4 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1-to-1 shooting, 1-to-1 threes, 150.0% TS, -6
Garbage time for JTA to be outside of the playoff cycle. But it was great to see hometown Warrior playing a playoff game in front of a rocking arena and tapping on a shot.
22 minutes, 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 theft, 1 turnover, 1 mistake, 5-for-13 shooting, 3-for-6 triples, 3-for-3 free throws, 55.9% TS, +17
A month later the charcoal rusted some. But it does not matter. The thing is, he moved healthy. He was agile and quick, and he cut hard. He was comfortable and seemed to trust the feet.
That’s what’s important. The shot comes back soon – it started in the final moments of the first half and the whole second half – notice when it was.
It remains to be seen whether Curry will be on the bench or return to the starting line-up in the second game of the series.
Grade: A + for emotions
4 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 error, 1-for-2 shooting, 50.0% TS, -6
Junk time for the league. Mark Jones’ relationship with his wife (Seidel Curry) is similar to that of Seth Curry (Gully Rivers).
Gary Baton II
20 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 64.4% TS, +12
As the Warriors progress, GPII will play a major role if they face a backfield player like Ja Morant, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell or Devin Booker. But his defense in this was even better, and the assistance he provided in the jockey was exceptional.
He is now the most important part of the team.
Grade: B +
4 minutes, 1 point, 1 assist, 1 theft, 0-to-1 shooting, 0-to-1 triple, 1-to-2 free throw, 26.6% TS, -6
Garbage time for new players in his playoff debut.
Saturday inactive; James Wiseman