But it's the "almost" part that people keep talking about
Draymond and Steph both had a couple stinker games this year. And Draymond's brilliance is just a little harder to see, because it most often manifests as things that don't happen—plays the other team doesn't score on—than as things that do. But he is one of the most singularly talented and unique players in the league, and there's nobody I would rather put on the court alongside the Splash Bros to make a contender.
Frankly, even with the wrinkles, the ugly moments, and the disconcerting downward trend in scoring numbers, the performance he put on this year was fantastic, and I still want him to stay on the Warriors until he retires.
Morey fined 75 large for tampering with Steph lololol: https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/daryl-morey-76ers-given-75k-tampering-fine-steph-curry-tweet
The more I watch all these playoffs, the more I think they’re really wide open and the Warriors would have as much of a chance as anyone else if they’d got Lee and Oubre back. (They were just too ragged after going so long with just 8 players.)
Superb article, Duby. Enjoyed reading it.
The Warriors once looked into hiring Mike Budenholzer and thank god that didn't happen. Kerr is lightyears ahead of this idiot. I can't believe what I'm seeing lol, they'd still be losing this game at the half regardless thanks to Middleton's struggles but it didn't have to be game over already.
Giannis is a fucking center in the playoffs, why is he always playing with Lopez or Portis on the floor? Put him at center and put Connaughton in there more with him and switch everything, I thought you traded for Tucker so you could do that?
And say what you want about Frank Vogel but in that second half of the play-in game he started putting AD in motion which made him much tougher for the Warriors to guard thanks to his absurd physical gifts. Giannis' gifts are even more absurd and yet Bud seems committed to using Giannis as the ballhandler against a set defense. That's how you get 2 free throws in a half with Giannis on your team against the Net defense. Maybe they had to do that when they had Bledsoe since he couldn't shoot but you traded the farm for Jrue Holiday to avoid this! At least I thought that was the plan lol.
Down 2-0 as the lower seed is not the end of a series (as the Bucks found out in 2019), plenty of time for adjustments, but I had (clearly unfounded) optimism Bud was going to start the series out this way after the roster changes and all the regular season playstyle changes. He's blowing a winnable series just like Doc did last season, and he'll deserve to be fired if they lose.
Green narratives. Warriors lose and folks can't stop talking about how D needs to score more. The word is: When Draymond scores 10 or more, the Warriors win ... a lot. The problem is this: that statement, that narrative, is backwards. We think the Warriors win more BECAUSE Draymond scored more. The truth is, Draymond scores more WHEN the Warriors are winning. We do not need Draymond to "shoot 3s and space the floor" so the Warrior's offense works better. We need the Warriors to "space the floor better" so that Draymond can score more. And this is what I feel is wrong with this narrative that, truthfully and sincerely, absolutely overshadowed and nullified our enjoyment of a top 3 DPOY and #4 IN THE LEAGUE in Assists and top 5 Team Defensive year all brought to us by one Draymond Green. The dude had an Epic season and what did everyone do? We awed and gushed over Curry and criticized Green at every turn. The double standard with which Green has been treated in the media this year is heinous. I think a host or 2 on 95.7 gave him a grade of C for the year. A C! (Uh-oh, blood pressure rising) What more does this guy have to do? No Draymond Green and the team has a team defensive rank in the mid-20s or worse. He's worth 7-9 points a night on defense. Someone, please add that to his 7 point offensive average. A little math ... let me get my abacus out .. a few ore calculations ... Ah-ha! 15 points a game. Are you not entertained???
Getting down off my soapbox. sorry about that.
Green is an "opportunistic scorer". His points come on opportunities that are created by space. Yes, wide open 3s in rhythm, gotta take them, work on your shot. But his other scoring comes on drives to the basket and he can't do that without teammates that pose threats in space East, West & North. This year, the Warriors had no one creating vertical threats. Sure, Wiseman did a little, but let's be honest, he just hadn't learned how to use his size to exploit the airspace above the rim. With no Klay, Curry's gravity pulled 2 defenders to his hips, but it also pulled weak side defenders into the lane because no-one seemed to care too much about Oubre or Mulder standing in the corner. With Curry & Klay, you get gravity working East & West and this opens up the lane. The ideal scoring situation for Green is getting a pass from Curry, Curry relocating to a corner, Klay moving on the weak side perimeter & Wiseman loading up in the dunker's spot. Now he has 3 options to pass, and all defenders have to make a choice, chase, sag or block out, and THIS is how Draymond scores. There is a great clip of Wiseman in the high post throwing a pass to Green cutting back door for an easy layup. That is how Draymond scores. It's not Draymond's job to shoot more to create opportunities for his teammates. Rather, Draymond's scoring is a bellwether for the ability and performance of his teammates. Like Kerr said, Draymond's scoring is gravy. It's the team's job to bring the biscuits.
Oubre and Knicks? https://www.hoopsrumors.com/2021/06/knicks-kelly-oubre-may-have-mutual-interest.html
Jarron Collins moving on: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/31584971/assistant-coach-jarron-collins-moving-golden-state-warriors-eyes-head-coaching-job
When I was a kid playing basketball I always enjoyed doing the non-flashy things like getting on the loose balls, hitting the assist, taking a charge, hedging someone so bad they throw the ball away, making everyone else better around me - Dray is the embodiment of my childhood basketball dream. He has built a career on being selfless, finding the gaps around Steph and Klays game and filling them with effort and effective play. The guy is unlike any player I have ever seen, and much like a Steph quick release step back 3 makes your jaw drop in awe, so does a Draymond hedge, help and vertical contest. Its a thing of beauty.
So thank you to Draymond for bringing my childhood dream to a reality, you are an amazing baller, and you continue to prove why basketball is a team game. Now get that backpack cranked over the offseason for some high % 3 balls!!
Wanted to share a piece about Draymond I wrote after Charlotte Game this year.
How to live with Draymond: a primer for the peanut gallery.
Has Draymond Green’s penchant for temper tantrums and ill-timed technical fouls left a bad taste in your mouth? Have you had it up to here with his constant complaining and utter lack of even a mediocre outside shot? Do you bury your head in your hands whenever you think of 4 points, 4 years and 100 million dollars? If so, you may be suffering from Day-Day-ism: a common disease that causes those afflicted to play checkers and act like New York Knick fans. There is no known cure, but with help, this disease can be put in remission.
My name is Peter, I’m a Drayaholic, and here is how I learned to live with Draymond Green, two ‘Day-Days’ at a time.
Draymond Green will always wear a scarlet letter for his suspension in the 2016 finals which most people would agree cost the Warriors a championship that year. I wasn’t upset about the technical he received in game 4. What I can’t forget were the two techs he received, one in the series against Portland, a team that posed no threat to the Warriors, and the other in the first quarter of a meaningless regular season game that year against Utah. Those were the senseless technical fouls that led to Green’s untimely suspension. Those were the technical fouls that should have been avoided. As a fan, that was the part of Draymond’s game I wished he could change. And herein lies the fan’s frustration: why can’t he change? To answer that question, perhaps we could use an assist from Steph Curry, that is, if he doesn’t turn the ball over.
We all love Steph, but as great as he is, I think we can all agree that there is still one negative aspect of his game that we all wish he could fix: the loosey-goosey lazy-ass bonehead passes he throws to opponents on a nightly basis. In general, point guards rack up a lot of turnovers. Its one of the hazards of the job. But these turnovers are in a different category.
Like Draymond’s technicals in meaningless situations, we all wish Steph could just stop with the loosey-goosey turnovers. Our mistake, and never-ending frustration as fans, comes from a belief that Daymond’s Ts and Curry’s TOs are a problem, when in fact, they are quite the opposite.
Curry’s offensive game is a work of high art. He is Miles Davis with a basketball. He doesn’t drive the lane with the precision of a heart surgeon as Kyrie does. Instead, Curry dances with his opponents. Curry doesn’t keep his dribble on a tight string, he is loosey-goosey with the ball, always dribbling the ball in shared space, tempting his opponents to act, and then reacting to their movements with dazzling virtuosity. Steph’s loosey-goosey nature with the basketball is the heart of what makes him a generational talent. You cannot ‘read & react’ like he does if you are reading off sheet music.
This is improvisation at the highest level and it requires Curry to remain ‘loose’. Steph’s lazy turnovers are always frustrating to see, but demanding that he eliminate them from his game is missing the point entirely. Curry’s lazy TOs and his impossible hand-in-face-falling-down-dagger 3-point shots spring from the same source, they are water drawn from the same well. If we want to enjoy Curry’s inspirational brilliance on the basketball court, is it too much to ask from us as fans to shrug off the occasional lazy TO?
The same idea applies to Draymond. Many will protest and say his antics cost GSW the game in Charlotte recently, and worse, the championship in 2016. Are we saying that Curry’s lazy TOs never contributed to a regular season loss? And I seem to remember an ill-advised behind the back pass from Curry in the last 5 minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals that turned out to be a pivotal play in the game the Warriors would ultimately lose. On the surface, an emotional Draymond T comes across as much more egregious than a lazy Curry TO, but these events are equal in their ability to impact a game on the biggest stage.
Returning to Draymond, let’s not forget who this guy is: an annoying pudgy tweener from Saginaw, MI, who would be lucky if he ever developed a mediocre outside shot, who spent a good part of his childhood getting tossed into garbage cans at the local rec center where he fought to get onto the basketball court with the older kids in his neighborhood.
He is a 3-time NBA Champ, an All-Star, a DPOY, regarded by his peers as having one of the highest basketball IQs in the game, he is the ‘heart’ and emotional leader of a legacy franchise. When he is done playing basketball, he could be an agent, he could be a coach, he could be a general manager, and we all know that TNT already has a chair with his name on it, ready for the day that Charles Barkley retires. Think of Draymond’s career so far and what many project to be a very successful career once he is off the court and then think back to that kid alone in the bottom of a garbage can.
If you have a problem understanding Draymond Green, you need to see him in his natural habitat and that is inside that garbage can. This is where the Spirit that made Draymond Green was forged. You could throw him in the can 100 times, but you were not going to keep him off the basketball court. Lacking the physical gifts some players are blessed with, Green was forced to rely on anything and everything else, B-ball IQ, heart, emotion, energy and determination. Spiderman was bit by a radioactive spider, the Green Lantern draws power from his ring, Batman drew his power from a very large bank account, Curry draws his power from a well of infinite Joy and youthful frivolity. Draymond Green? He draws his power from dumpster diving.
While I am not Draymond’s defense attorney, I think it worth pointing out some pertinent facts leading up to his recent outburst in Charlotte. There is a reason Steve Kerr only uses the small ball lineup in limited minutes. If you do it all the time, it will take a mental & physical toll. How many games have the Warriors played 48-small while Wiseman-Looney-Chriss sat with injuries? Kerr commented recently about how much harder it is for Draymond to ‘bring it emotionally’ every night, both for his own play and as the emotional leader of the team. Before every game, Wiggins is tasked with: guard THAT GUY, hit open 3s, if the defense stalls, try and drive or hit a step back 18 footer. That’s his job every night. Meanwhile, Draymond is the defensive captain, middle linebacker and free safety in one, having to guard his own man and help everyone else guard theirs, he is the offensive quarterback, emotional team leader, who has to nursemaid Wiseman when playing and keep a precocious Oubre out of trouble (or Curry’s corner). And while nursing a sore knee and ankle, on the rear end of a road back-to-back, after weeks of shouldering the center position above and beyond his already otherworldly duties, he has to share the court for 34 minutes with a Wannamaker as Curry is a pregame scratch and he has the Warriors up 2 with possession and under a minute to play.
What followed? Day Day snapped and the Refs put him in the proverbial garbage can. The media and fans scream that Draymond’s actions here, and the fact that they clearly cost the Warriors the game, were inexcusable. My take: Draymond needed to reconnect with his power source; Draymond needed a dumpster.
Less we forget, Draymond isn’t playing checkers, focusing on the results of a single regular season game. He isn’t even playing regular chess. Draymond plays the kind of multi-level chess they used to play on the old Star Treks. He is calculating, playing for a single play, a game, a full season, and even a post-career all simultaneously. Sacrificing a regular season game here or there for the bigger picture is peanuts to Draymond, unlike most fans who hang on dearly to the final score of each game. And herein lies the problem many fans have with Draymond and the first signs of Day-Dayism. Everyone throws their arms up in frustration and dismay when Draymond causes himself to get tossed into a dumpster, again, and believe the guy just can’t control himself. But Day-Day dumpster diving is like Superman going into a phone booth. He isn’t looking for half eaten chili dogs, he is getting his super-human spirit back.
Look, as a fan, every now and then, Draymond is going to piss in your canteen. But ten times out of ten, when the grenade lands in your foxhole, he is the guy who is going to jump on it. Like Curry’s lazy-ass loosey-goosey turnovers, Draymond’s outbursts are inextricably tied to that which makes him an incredible talent. Sure, sometimes they are tough to swallow, but you can’t have one without the other. So, my advice to all of those in the peanut gallery who are put off by Draymond’s outbursts is simple:
Take a deep breath, go rinse out your canteen, and pray to God that when the grenade lands at your feet, Draymond is wearing the same-colored uniform. And don’t be distracted by the dumpster fires. Draymond Green is the Bobby Fischer of basketball. When he sacrifices himself and gets tossed in a dumpster, it isn’t the end of the game. In Daymond’s world, the real game is just beginning. --phood
Great piece Duby! We have a legit DPOY candidate who passes out assists like Chris Paul? Also the emotional leader of the team who instills fiery confidence? I'm not mad at that.
Sure I'd like him to flash more of the scoring we have witnessed on several occasions over the past, but if this team has the Splash Bros both causing havoc, Dray is the perfect complement IMO.
Would you rather have a player with B+ offense and B- defense? Or a player with D+ offense and A+ defense? I feel like you can build up the B- defense more than the D+ offense. That's where I'm at with Dray. He's an amazing defender and facilitator when they respect his shot. I'm not sure he's helping the offense much in a playoff setting, when they know he isn't capable of scoring. In fact, you might need another all world offensive player to make up the difference.
Green really ought to be able to practice 3pt shots from the top of the arc until he can make uncontested shots more than 30% of the time again. It would make a significant difference to the offense if the opponents couldn't leave him completely unguarded.
Good post, 3D. This season helped me realize how important Green is to Steph. They've got a mind boggling chemistry going on. However, the Warriors are not the team that won 2 rings with KD. Without KD, there is an element missing that Green cannot make up for. He cannot or will not step up his scoring in the face of losing almost 30ppg without KD. You need to score in this league. Even with Klay back, Green needs to tend to the holes in his game and also clean up the passing mistakes. Transition points will kill us on all those TO' that both Steph and Green commit. Even I argue that this comes with the genius of Steph/Green, but I really don't believe it has to. There is something missing in both of their decision making and if it ever changes, no one will beat us. Green has hurt as a lot and I say that without malice. He has toned down his rhetoric and doesn't dog the refs after every call as he used to. He's not ranting and raving any more. This is a real step forward for him. Now, he's got to clean up the TO's and work on his shooting. I can't believe a player of his calibre can't improve his shot.