The Golden State Warriors are in a nice position. After Sunday’s 109-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks, the Warriors lead 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals.
To date, 146 teams have led 3-0 in a best-of-seven NBA series. These 146 teams have all won 146 times.
I like the Warriors’ chances.
But before we move on to Game 4 and a potential sweep, let’s evaluate the good guys who helped the dubs win in enemy territory. As always, we weigh our expectations of each player.
Note: The league’s average True Shooting (TS) percentage this year was 56.6%.
37 mins, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 50.0% TS, +19
I was very critical of Green for his performance in Game 2 when he struggled at both ends of the court, was in constant bad trouble and frankly lucky not to get kicked out.
I am not critical of this achievement. Because this performance was very good.
Green’s defense was sensational in the Game 3 win as he was all over the court and played the role of disruptor and rover absolutely brilliant.
He was offensively aggressive, which is huge for the Warriors with or without efficient scoring.
And he was the emotional engine for the team, as he always was when they were at their best. He cried. He talked rubbish. He was fired up.
He was dray and he was great.
40 minutes, 27 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 fouls, 11 v 20 shots, 1 v 5 three-pointers, 4 v 5 free throws, 60.8% TS, +22
Forget career high playoff points. Forget the elite’s impressive double-double and rebound in a game where the dubs thoroughly dominated Dallas on the glass. Forget the trio of assists and the lack of turnovers. Forget the efficiency the Warriors need nine days a week.
These things don’t matter for grading, because if you do the following when you win, you’ll get a perfect grade.
But the other things were really great too.
Post-Game Bonus: Led the team in plus/minus and took lives.
29 minutes, 9 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3 on 4 shooting, 3 on 4 free throws, 78.1% TS, +5
For the second game in a row, Looney had 12 rebounds. And for the second game in a row, he put on a one-sided rebound performance as the Warriors defeated the Mavs 47-33 on Glass.
The Mavs don’t have an answer for Looney and…look I love writing that sentence just as much as you love reading it.
Post-Game Bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
39 minutes, 31 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 10 v 20 shots, 5 v 10 trebles, 6 v 6 free throws, 68.5% TS, +19
Curry’s gravity continues to be one of the most fascinating things about the NBA. In addition to the 11 assists he had — a huge number — there were countless games where teammates got stares because Dallas had all of his attention on Steph.
And the moment he had some breathing room — either from a defensive error or forcing the issue — he made the Mavs pay.
Just a superstar performance through and through and a master class on how to manipulate a defense to get the things you want.
Post-Game Bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
39 mins, 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 fouls, 6-on-18 shooting, 3-on-10 threes, 4-on-4 free throws, 48.1% TS, +13
Klay really struggled to find his shot in this game, although I found the shot selection to be pretty good. The shots just didn’t fire.
He did make some huge shots on the stretch, however, and it felt like he wanted to make sure the Warriors could end the streak as quickly as possible so he could rest before one final push toward a title.
After a disappointing defensive play on Friday, Thompson looked really good defensively in that game, and he did the little things, playing 39 minutes without turnover and gobbling up a few boards.
He looked good, the shot just didn’t fall.
Otto Porter Jr.
7 mins, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1v2 shooting, 50.0% TS, -8
Porter left the game in the second quarter due to a problem with his foot…the Miscellaneous Foot, not the one who sidelined him against Memphis.
He’s been sensational in these playoffs and the Warriors really need him to get back on the court.
Juan Toscano Anderson
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 turnover, -7
Aside from occasional one-second defensive ball possession appearances, this was JTA’s first non-garbage time run of the playoffs. The dubs were left deep on the bench as Porter, Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II were all absent and Damion Lee played poorly on Friday.
So JTA called his number and while he didn’t do much it was good to see him out there.
28 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 2v4 shooting, 2v4 3-pointers, 4v4 free throws, 86.8% TS , -6
While I prefer the games where Poole singes the nets, it was really fun to see him at a low scoring, high efficiency game. It showed a really impressive restraint.
Godlessly talented, he’s learning how to best pick his spots while also understanding when to rely on teammates.
He’s done a lot of other things well in this game as well, and he gets a note boost if he has the stab shot at the end of the game.
16 minutes, 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul, 0-3 shooting, 0-3 trebles, 1-2 free throws, 12.9% TS, -12
Moody gets Lee’s minutes, and while that worked really well in the second half of Game 2, it didn’t work particularly well in Game 3.
He’s still doing a good job of avoiding nasty mistakes and it’s a testament to the rookie that Steve Kerr has entrusted him with defending Luka Dončić. But not a particularly strong performance.
Post-Game Bonus: Worst plus/minus in the team.
Sunday’s DNPs: Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga, Damion Lee
Inactive on Sunday: Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, James Wiseman