Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
12. Quinn Cook
While he proved a steadying presence in the Stephen Curry-less stretch run, Cook has struggled to carry over that success into the postseason. He showed some flashes over the first two rounds but has mostly been an observer in the last two. Even his mini-eruptions have been lost in the shuffle; he’s scored 10-plus four different times, but all of them came in double-digit wins—three of which were decided by 22-plus points.
11. Nick Young
This should be a shockingly low ranking given his opportunity. He’s eighth on the team in playoff minutes, he’s made two starts and he’s essentially the only shooter in the reserve rotation.
The problem is the presumed spark plug has yet to ignite. He hasn’t scored 10 points in any game and only topped five points three times. His postseason average of nine points per 36 minutes ranks 13th on the team. He’s hitting just 30.6 percent of his field goals, 30.2 percent of his threes and 20 percent of his shots when a defender is within four feet.
10. David West
At times, the 37-year-old has lost fights both with Father Time and the modernization of playoff hoops. After playing a prominent role in the opening round, he’s had his role greatly reduced since and didn’t appear in three of the Western Conference Finals outings.
But he’s been predictably steady when called upon, shooting 59.1 percent from the field and more than tripling his 10 turnovers with 31 assists. He also timed his lone triple of these playoffs perfectly, connecting on the momentum-booster late in the third quarter of Game 2 of the Finals. Draymond Green dubbed it “probably the biggest three of the game,” per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.
9. Kevon Looney
Looney’s tenure with the Warriors seemed left for dead when they declined his fourth-year option in October. But his improbably productive campaign has rolled right into the playoffs, where he’s fifth on the team in total minutes.
His rebounding and defensive versatility have allowed him to be a mostly regular part of this rotation—he only played a second during Game 3 of the Finals. He’s more of a safe option than a spectacular one, which helps him tread water but rarely make a noticeable splash. In 13 of his 20 appearances, his plus/minus has fallen in the near-neutral range between plus-seven and minus-three.
8. JaVale McGee
McGee is hard to miss in more ways than one. When he’s playing, his aerial theatrics often jump off the screen. But he’s flawed enough that there’s rarely an uproar when head coach Steve Kerr leaves McGee out of the game plan entirely.
The end result is a tale of two postseasons. McGee has made seven starts over the first and championship rounds; he totaled 22 combined minutes during the conference semis and finals. The absences mute his value a bit, but his big nights have been critical. He’s scored at least 10 points in four different games—two in the Finals—averaging 11.8 points on 77.8 percent shooting in those contests.
7. Jordan Bell
Have cash considerations ever yielded a bigger prize? Bell continues to look like a draft-night heist with an intriguing blend of per-36-minute marks including 10.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals.
The more the stakes have risen, the more he’s seemed to thrive. Since the start of the conference finals, his plus-46 plus/minus trails only the four All-Stars. That number includes his game-high plus-17 mark in Game 7 of the previous round, when he tallied five boards, three assists, two blocks and a steal in under 16 minutes.
“We’re thrilled with the way he’s played and his future here,” Kerr said, per Melissa Rohlin of the Bay Area News Group.
6. Shaun Livingston
While occasionally lost during the second- and third-round sprints, Livingston has dazzled in Golden State’s two slowest series. When precision trumps pace, the savvy veteran usually leaves a major mark.
“He’s a guy who gets it,” Kerr said, per NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman. “He understands how to play.”
Livingston trails only the “Hamptons Five” in scoring (6.9 points per game), and he’s outshooting all of them from the field (54.1 percent). He’s been borderline perfect in the championship round, hitting 13 of his 14 shots (92.9 percent) and racking up six assists against a single turnover in 51 minutes.