Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors: Grading Golden State's Performance

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors: Grading Golden State's Performance

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    To wrap up their trip to China, the Golden State Warriors trounced the Los Angeles Lakers 115-89 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

    Klay Thompson scored 25 points, David Lee added 16 and Andre Iguodala dealt 14 assists as the Dubs put on a show.

    Mark Jackson's crew spread the ball around in the first half, with three players in double figures and 10 players in the scoring mix at the break. Thanks to the likes of Draymond Green and Thompson, the Dubs shot the lights out from long distance.

    A flurry of drive-and-kicks from Andre Iguodala, along with strong defense, allowed the Warriors to open up a double-digit lead in the second half. Defensively, Golden State was shaky at the outset, but clamped down in the second half to hold the Lakers to 41 percent shooting (including 25 percent from long range).

    We broke down all the major Warriors involved in this high-scoring exhibition as the club looks to carry the momentum back to the Bay Area.

     

    Injury notes: Golden State rested forward Harrison Barnes, who's out with an inflamed toe. Festus Ezeli also remained out rehabbing his knee. The Los Angeles Lakers weren't at full strength either, with Kobe Bryant still sidelined by his Achilles tendon.

Point Guard: Stephen Curry

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    Golden State's star and leader was nearly outscored by his younger brother, so we didn't see the usual playmaking barrage from the superstar. Mark Jackson kept him on the bench for all but eight minutes of the first half.

    Since he got extra rest in the opening half, Curry came out with loads of energy to start the second, although he struggled to get into a rhythm. He yielded floor general duties to Andre Iguodala for most of the contest, but even when Iggy found him for open jumpers, Curry couldn't connect.

    It wasn't a banner night for him, as he didn't drain a triple until late in the third quarter. Golden State fans shouldn't panic, because he wasn't afforded consistent chances.

    Curry didn't play poorly, and he only saw 20 minutes of action, but a 3-of-12 outing won't earn him a good grade.

    Grade: C

     

     

     

Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson

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    Klay Thompson was all over the place in the first half as he drilled outside jumpers, cut to the rim and ran the floor in transition. He shot 4-of-5 in the first quarter, a big reason why the Warriors scored 27 points in the opening period.

    He seems to do a great job of adjusting to whoever he's on the floor with, whether it's Stephen Curry or one of the many reserves.

    Thompson consistently took advantage of size mismatches, with Steve Blake guarding him for much of the game. It was a nice opportunity for him to work on his interior game instead of gravitating toward the perimeter.

    He continued his phenomenal preseason by lighting it up from the field. He shot 10-of-14, including 5-of-6 from distance, to tally 25 points in 29 minutes of action.

    Even though his point guard, Stephen Curry, had a quiet night, Thompson ensured the Splash Brothers were well-represented in Shanghai.

    Grade: A

Small Forward: Andre Iguodala

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    He didn't score much at all, but Andre Iguodala's defense and passing were a huge factor to buoy the Warriors throughout the game.

    The Dubs' newcomer had five assists and three steals in the first 10 minutes of action, forcing turnovers as an on-ball and weak-side presence. His court vision helped set up guys like Klay Thompson for easy buckets.

    After finishing the first half with eight dimes, Iggy continued his Magic Johnson-esque game by initiating the offense and finding shooters. He was more than comfortable running Mark Jackson's offense, as he surveyed the floor and delivered to the open man.

    He only registered four points, but he was probably the MVP of this game. His 14 assists and five steals gave Golden State the spark necessary to dominate the game.

    Grade: A+

Power Forward: David Lee

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    Right out of the gate, David Lee was assertive and dialed into Golden State's offensive game plan.

    He executed a couple of nice post-ups and served as a facilitator by distributing the ball from the high post. The highly skilled power forward even made some nifty dishes in transition.

    In the second half, the Warriors keyed in on Lee as he was guarded by the undersized Wes Johnson, and Golden State's star stayed aggressive.

    Lee didn't rebound particularly well, but his efficient shooting and excellent timing helped the Dubs take control of the game.

    He wasn't quite as productive as he was in Beijing, but coach Jackson will certainly take 16 points in 22 minutes.

    Grade: B+ 

Center: Andrew Bogut

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    He got going early with nice post-up and baby hook, but Andrew Bogut was a non-factor in this game because he left early in the first quarter with a lower-back strain, per TWCSportsNet's Mike Trudell.

    Bogut has suffered a laundry list of injuries throughout his career, so Golden State was quick to rule him out of the rest of the game.

    In Beijing, he played 32 minutes and grabbed 14 boards, so he probably wouldn't have played more than 15 minutes in this contest anyway.

    Mark Jackson hopes this lower-back issue doesn't become a nagging setback that derails Bogut's season. The big man's health is a major X-factor in the Dubs' championship hopes.

    Grade: Incomplete

Sixth Man: Marreese Speights

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    Because Andrew Bogut left the game early with lower-back issues, Marreese Speights was called into the game prematurely.

    He showed up sharp and ready to chip in, as he knocked in back-to-back jumpers to help the Dubs keep the offensive flow going.

    Defensively, he did a serviceable job on Chris Kaman, although Kaman and Pau Gasol got the best of him a few times. Speights isn't exactly an explosive athlete, so he wasn't able to take advantage of Los Angeles' bigs on every possession.

    Speights' final line included eight points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. He didn't wow us with his defensive execution, but his all-around game and early-game readiness deserves a tip of the cap.

    Grade: B

Bench

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    Many of Golden State's seldom-used reserves saw substantial playing time in this contest, as Mark Jackson gave them ample opportunities to showcase their skills.

    In addition to Marreese Speights' early jumpers, Draymond Green connected from three-point land four times in the second quarter to reignite the Warriors offense. He concluded the first half as the Dubs' leading scorer, notching 14 points in 14 minutes.

    Serbian newcomer Nemanja Nedovic saw several opportunities early, and he produced some encouraging results. He had an impressive drive and a nice jumper, but defensively he was caught off balance a couple times. Nedovic redeemed himself in the fourth quarter by guarding effectively and elevating in transition.

    In the post, Dewayne Dedmon was a physical presence but failed to convert from the field and picked up three early fouls. Late in the game, his hustle was rewarded with some open-floor finishes.

    Seth Curry, Kent Bazemore and Ognjen Kuzmic also played well within the flow of the game.

    The Warriors bench coughed up a few untimely turnovers during their initial sequences, giving the Lakers some gift-wrapped fast-break points. However, they made up for it in the second half by forcing some turnovers of their own and displayed terrific ball movement. They kept the starters' momentum going and put the game away early in the fourth quarter.

    Grade: A-