Home > Analysis > Analyzing The Anomalous: Dominic McGuire vs. Atlanta

Analyzing The Anomalous: Dominic McGuire vs. Atlanta

On Wednesday night, in a tight road win against Atlanta, Warriors forward Dominic McGuire posted one of the most unrepeatable stat lines we’ve seen this season. In 36 minutes the oft-used bench player took one shot, missed one shot, and grabbed 15 rebounds. He’s gone scoreless in 15 of his 30 appearances this season so there’s no real surprise there, but for him to be SO productive on the defensive end—in a game where Atlanta scored 82 points on 33.7% shooting—while being SO ignored on offense, is quite miraculous.

Dominic McGuire vs. Atlanta. Golden State won 85-82. McGuire’s statistics: 36 minutes, 0 points, 0 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 15 rebounds.

  • Opponents are shooting an abysmal 24% from the floor this season when Dominic McGuire is guarding them in isolation situations, good for 18th best in the league, according to Synergy. The Warriors chose to have McGuire defend Josh Smith and Joe Johnson throughout the game, and the two combined to shoot 11-37 on the night.
  • His usage rate was 4.3%, which, quite frankly, is the lowest figure I’ve ever seen for someone who’s played 30-plus minutes in a game. The offensive performance was akin to being an actor in a comedy, and despite appearing in almost every scene throughout the movie, getting asked to deliver just a single joke. Then, when your time comes, the line is botched in a horrible, incredibly unfunny way.
  • Here’s what happened on McGuire’s one shot: He sets a screen for Klay Thompson, rolls baseline, receives a pass that leaves him tons of space and a slow to rotate Zaza Pachulia standing between him and the basket, and throws up a wild lay up that careens off the backboard and misses the rim entirely.
  • He spent a little time defending Josh Smith, and on one play late in the first half actually out leapt him to grab a defensive rebound. Granted, Smith may have prematurely taken off, but being that he’s accurately reputed as one of the 10 most athletic players in the league, this was quite the play.
  • I won’t go into detail on each and every one of the 15 rebounds, but stating the obvious here, McGuire was a hustling fiend. Yes, there were approximately 463 missed shots to go and get, but that doesn’t dispute the fact that somebody’s got to do it. McGuire was that guy last night.
  • I have a theory on scoring in the NBA: Every single rotation player could average at least 15 points a night if his coach wanted it to happen. It wouldn’t be efficient and of course there are a few exceptions (Jared Jeffries!), but as a whole, big point performances only stand out when they’re done at a modest volume and within the flow of a team’s offense. (Kevin Durant may be the exception here.) For McGuire to play the equivalent of three quarters and take just one shot is either a testament to his amazing case of self-discipline, a fear of likely embarrassment, or an acknowledgment that he isn’t very good with the ball in his hands. It’s remarkable for someone—anyone—to attempt only one shot in a game at the NBA level, and in the meantime keep his head in it and contribute in other ways.
  • McGuire replaced Klay Thompson with 2:48 left in the game with the assignment of guarding Atlanta’s number one option, Joe Johnson, and preventing him from taking over. Johnson didn’t take a shot the rest of the game. Almost the first thing McGuire did was come out of nowhere to secure a ball that had been tipped out after Josh Smith missed a free-throw. In a way this rebound was a microcosm of his entire game. Everyone’s battling, doing their regular work, and before you know it in flies the unassuming McGuire to make the play.
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