Warriors report card: Grades for roster for second quarter of season
41 games down, 41 to go
After 41 games last season, the Warriors were 27-14 and had experienced their first four-game losing streak since Draymond Green was a rookie witnessing the steep decline of Andris Biedrins.
One year later, the Warriors would eat pinecones to be 27-14. They are 9-32, equaling their worst record after 41 games since 1997-98.
Yet there are signs of improvement. After posting a 4-18 record in the first quarter, the Warriors were 5-14 in the second. Blame heavy loss totals on an extenuating series of injuries, defections and departures. Mostly.
Here is the second quarter report card:
The undrafted rookie continues to show flashes of potential but also lapses in judgment typical of someone new to the league. His defensive mentality is evident, but not always effective. He needs more time in the G League, and he will get more time there.
Strength: Energy. Bowman brings it every night. He also is fearless, a mentality that should continue to serve him well.
Weakness: He still is prone to jacking up shots, as he did as a shooting guard in college. He’s making the transition to point guard and it shows.
Burks is filling the role of savvy vet about as well as conceivable under trying circumstances. He knows he is the subject of trade talk, and he initially seemed to operate without a trace of anxiety. Lately, there are signs that maybe an uncertain future is having an adverse effect.
Strength: Burks is able to create his own offense as well as anyone on the team -- including leading D’Angelo Russell. His ability to get a bucket, or get to the foul line, is why potential trade partners find him appealing.
Weakness: His offensive efficiency tends to run scalding hot or sub-zero cold. He shot 60 percent or better in five games, less than 35 percent in five games. His 31.4-percent shooting in January could be connected to the trade speculation.
There remains a disconnect between the player he believes he is and the player he actually is. The 7-footer plays in spurts, making a nice play or two and then coasting for a few minutes. Like Burks, Cauley-Stein also is the subject of trade speculation.
Strength: Though not a legitimate rim protector, his defensive tenacity has been surprisingly good. He’s blocking shots at a career-high rate.
Weakness: Ability to finish. He fumbles often in the paint and his 55.5-percent shooting is less impressive than it looks. He has a proclivity to miss layups, most of which should be dunks.
Chriss was waived on Jan. 5, cleared waivers and now is a free agent. There is mutual interest in re-signing him, as the Warriors believe the athletic 22-year-old big man can a solid contributor.
Strength: Passing. He recorded at least five assists three times in the quarter, playing fewer than 24 minutes in two of those games.
Weakness: Inconsistent activity levels. Chriss shows bursts of energy at both ends but also spends a lot of time walking the floor flat-footed, as if disengaged. If this does not improve as he matures, he’ll always have to fight for minutes.
Curry sustained a fractured hand in the fourth game of the season and two days later underwent surgery, during which pins were placed in his hand. The pins were removed in early December and Curry is participating in light individual workouts.
He is scheduled to be re-evaluated around Feb. 1 and hopes to return sometime after the All-Star break.
Jacob Evans III
The Warriors drafted Evans in June 2018 hoping the 6-5 guard could fill the role of backup at either guard spot. Eighteen months later, there is growing concern. Fans are turning on him.
Strength: Evans is a competent, not spectacular, defender. He has a clear feel for that end of the floor.
Weakness: Shooting and turnovers. He’s shooting 31.1 percent from the field has more turnovers than assists.
Draymond is a great defender among teammates that are sound in that area. He’s a terrific playmaker among teammates that understand the offensive concepts. He’s struggling, by his standard, because he can’t rely on either. His impact is taking at major hit at both ends.
Strength: Making good things happen. Draymond has embraced the role of tutor. It has robbed him of some of the energy that comes with playing free -- as opposed to playing while teaching -- so there are fewer instances of his all-around effectiveness.
Weakness: Engagement. He is most engaged when the games matter. When there are stakes. The lack of that this season often is apparent in Green’s actions on the court. He’s fighting the demoralizing that comes with frequent losing and it shows.
The 6-5 guard played in 15 of the 19 games during this quarter, averaging 14.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He recovered nicely from a non-displaced fracture of his right hand and played well enough to earn a starting role and convince the Warriors to offer a multiyear contract that should be signed in the coming days.
The rookie forward declined after a strong first quarter. Hit with injuries -- he missed five games -- and the scouting reports of opposing teams, he fell behind in the Rookie of the Year race.
Strength: Scoring. Paschall continues to shoot around 50 percent from the field, which makes it easier to accept his 28.6-percent shooting from deep in the quarter.
Weakness: Rebounding. Only twice in 14 gams did he snag more than five. To survive as a power forward, he’ll need to do better.
When the 6-5 guard closed the quarter with 4-of-9 shooting beyond the arc in a loss at Memphis, it was the first real glimpse of what led the Warriors to draft him in the first round last June. He has been searching for any kind of production. He looked good in a brief stint in the G League and is destined for more time there.
Strength: Conduct: The first of three players chosen in the last draft, it’s not easy to be the least impressive. Poole has handled a difficult season with no sign of dejection. He comes to work as if each day will be the one that he finds his game.
Weakness: When a shooting guard misses three times for every make, it is a problem. Only once in 12 games in the quarter did he shoot higher than 40.0 percent.
Glenn Robinson III
Robinson brings a little defense, a little offense and plenty of professionalism. The more he plays, the more he looks like someone who would be the ninth or 10th man on a quality team.
Strength: Reliability. The 6-7 forward achieved moderate production across the board while playing in all 18 games, averaging 31.1 minutes.
Weakness: Can be passive. There are points in most every game when he seems to sink into the background. Defensive lapses seem to have a negative effect on offense.
Injuries robbed the 6-5 guard of one-third of the second quarter (missed six of 19 games) but his production generally remained high. He’s not an All-Star, but he’s “the guy” on this club.
Strength: Scoring. After returning from injury with a slow start to the quarter, D-Lo averaged 28.9 points over his last seven games.
Weakness: Defense. Russell’s presence ensures that both the Warriors and their opponents will have plenty of scoring opportunities.
The 6-10 forward/center made his NBA debut midway through the quarter. He played a total of 80 minutes over eight games, showing considerable promise along with signs of youthful impetuousness.
His own solid play and the waiving of Chriss provided the second-year big man with his first starts as a Warrior. A 6-8 blast of energy, Spellman proved that as long as he can control his weight, he has the goods for a long NBA career.
Strength: Shooting. He shot an incredible 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from deep in the quarter. With his pure shooting stroke, Spellman is built to be a stretch-5 in a league where that role is proliferating.
Weakness: Defense. Spellman gets exploited by veteran power forwards and can be overwhelmed to natural centers. Until he adapts to one or the other, his minutes will fluctuate.
Thompson sustained a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last June and has continues to rehabilitate. He has progress to light individual shooting workouts. He is scheduled to be reevaluated sometime after the Feb. 13-19 All-Star break.