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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Draymond Green

Draymond Green delivers blunt assessment of Warriors’ championship aspirations

Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors saw their season derailed by injuries and inconsistency, and it all came to an end Friday when the Memphis Grizzlies beat them for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Still, there remains a belief that the current core, if healthy, can still contend for a championship.

Draymond Green sounded less optimistic after Friday’s loss, suggesting that the Warriors have a lot of work to do to get back to where they want to be.

“We’re not in the playoffs, so we’re a ways away,” Green said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I may go to Mexico or something [Saturday], but that’s not a gym. That’s not to an arena. That’s not flying to Utah, so we got a ways to go because we’re not in the playoffs — so we’re far away. Because in order to win a championship, you got to be in the playoffs. So we’re clearly a ways away — a few tweaks here and there, and we’re not that far. But right now we’re a ways away because we’re not in the playoffs.”

To be fair, Green clearly thinks the Warriors can get there, but he’s not wrong that it’s a big gulf between being an eight seed and being a title contender. The Warriors should get Klay Thompson back next year, which can only help, but the supporting cast needs to be better and the team will need to stay healthy for a full season.

Steve Kerr thought there were other factors in play, too. Whatever the case, the franchise is clearly in an intriguing spot. The good news is thanks to the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins swap, they’re going to have two lottery picks to work with.

LeBron James saw three rims when he made big 3-pointer

LeBron James shot

LeBron James hit a huge shot to help his Los Angeles Lakers clinch the No. 7 spot in the West, and he did so despite some difficulty.

James drove to the basket with about two minutes left in his team’s play-in game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Draymond Green tried to defend and ended up poking James in the eye.

James says his vision was impaired as a result, but that didn’t stop him from making his big shot. With the game tied at 100 and just under a minute left, James hit the game-winning 3-pointer to make it 103-100, which was the final score.

“After the Draymond finger to the eye, I was literally seeing three rims out there. So, I just shot to the middle one,” James said in his postgame interview on ESPN.

James joked that he would have a pirate patch on his eye after the game.

The Lakers now have the No. 7 spot and will face the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors will face the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot and the right to face the Utah Jazz.

Draymond Green drops F-bomb on live TV after big Warriors win

Draymond Green

Draymond Green is an emotional guy with little regard for what he should and shouldn’t say sometimes. We got another example of that on Sunday after the Golden State Warriors’ big win over Memphis.

The Warriors’ win ensured that they would claim the No. 8 seed in the West, meaning they will only have to beat the No. 7 seed to get to a full playoff series. A loss would have relegated them to No. 9, forcing them to win twice.

Green was happy about it, and he was not happy about how the Grizzlies opted to attack them. He wasn’t afraid to show it, either, even in a live interview on the Warriors’ TV broadcast.

Such are the perils of live television, especially when interviewing a figure like Green. It’s something he does all the time when speaking to the media.

Green produced his usual full line on Sunday with 14 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. With a potential matchup looming against the Los Angeles Lakers, this probably won’t be the last we hear from him this week.

Draymond Green scoffs at suggestion that Warriors are ‘We Believe 2.0’

Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors find themselves in a playoff underdog position they have not been in for many years. But don’t tell Draymond Green that.

The former Defensive Player of the Year scoffed this week at the suggestion that the eighth-seeded Warriors this season are “We Believe 2.0.”

“We ain’t no ‘We Believe 2.0,’ he said, per Warriors reporter Drew Shiller. “We got f—ing Steph Curry on our team.”

It’s easy to recall the original “We Believe” Warriors, who famously pulled off the 8-over-1 upset of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs. But that was a collection of mid-tier players like Baron Davis, Al Harrington, and Stephen Jackson who played their roles well, leading to a very balanced scoring attack. It is definitely a different situation from having a superstar like Curry, a former MVP who is leading the NBA in scoring this year.

The “We Believe” team will always be near and dear to the Dubs franchise. But for his part, Green does not want to be compared to them.

Draymond Green has funny quote about his son rebounding for Steph Curry

Draymond Green

Draymond Green is, in many ways, one of the most intelligent players in the NBA. His son is clearly taking after him in that regard.

Green revealed that his son, Draymond Jr., likes rebounding for Stephen Curry when visiting Golden State’s practice facility. Green joked that he hardly blamed his son for that choice, since rebounding for Curry is pretty easy.

“When he comes to the gym with me, he wants to go rebound for Steph,” Green said. “I understand. You don’t gotta do that much work rebounding for Steph as you gotta do rebounding for me, so I get it. I always tell him, ‘You a smart kid, man.’

“I asked him the other day — somebody was shooting. I’m like, ‘You wanna go help?’ He’s like, ‘Nah, I wanna go help Steph!’ I’m like, ‘A’ight, go ahead, then, you a smart kid, man.’ You know you don’t wanna run or something, so you’re just gonna stand under the rim and the ball coming out the rim when Steph shoot. Real smart kid, I like that.”

Rebounding for Curry has been even easier of late. Maybe Little Dray is a good luck charm, because something is certainly working for Curry these days.

Doris Burke throws some shade at Draymond Green

Doris Burke

Announcer Doris Burke threw some shade at Draymond Green while calling Monday’s Golden State Warriors-Philadelphia 76ers game on ESPN.

Stephen Curry had another huge game for Golden State, as he poured in 48 points in his team’s 107-96 win. Curry has been extraordinarily hot lately and is averaging a whopping 39.9 points per game in April.

Burke was extremely complimentary of Curry’s performance and praised him for his hot shooting. As Curry was hot late in the game, Burke tried to express how much he was carrying the Warriors. She ended up throwing some perhaps inadvertent shade at Green in the process.

Burke exclaimed that Curry was having a great game “without another All-Star in the same zip code.”

Ouch.

Burke was essentially saying that Curry is carrying a bunch of scrubs to victory against the top-seeded team in the East.

Green, who was on the court for the Warriors at the time, probably won’t appreciate that. He made three All-Star teams from 2015-2018 and is known for being super sensitive to criticism.

Maybe Burke feels similarly to Charles Barkley when it comes to Draymond.

Draymond Green, Tony Allen beef over GOAT defender claim

Draymond Green

Tony Allen was not a fan of Draymond Green puffing his chest out this week.

Speaking on the “Dubs Talk” podcast, the Golden State Warriors star Green controversially declared himself to be the greatest defender in NBA history.

“I think I’m the best defender to ever play this game,” said Green, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “One hundred percent. That’s my opinion.”

Allen, the retired former Memphis Grizzlies star, scoffed at the claim. He referred to Green’s comments as “big cap,” which is slang for a lie.

Green promptly fired back at Allen, referring back to the 2014-15 season when “we used you against your team on the way to my first championship.” During that year, Golden State turned the tide of their second-round series against Allen’s Grizzlies by shifting center Andrew Bogut onto Allen defensively and daring Allen to shoot by sagging way off.

Green is a former Defensive Player of the Year and a five-time All-Defensive selection with tremendous basketball IQ and multi-positional versatility on the defensive end. Allen, meanwhile, was a six-time All-Defensive selection who is widely revered as one of the peskiest one-on-one defenders ever. But many probably believe that neither of them are the greatest of all-time.

Some people would select a dynamic rim protector such as Bill Russell or Hakeem Olajuwon as the greatest defender in NBA history. Others would prefer a hyena guard like Michael Jordan or Gary Payton. Still others might bestow the title upon a hulking Swiss Army knife such as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, or Kevin Garnett.

No matter your pick though, the back-and-forth between Green and Allen was certainly an entertaining one. After all, the two sides have been taking shots at each other for several years now.

Draymond Green makes bold guarantee about Defensive Player of the Year

Draymond Green

If you thought the Golden State Warriors’ struggles last season chastened Draymond Green, think again.

Green essentially guaranteed that he would win NBA Defensive Player of the Year if the Warriors could win more games and garner more attention for their play.

Green is right that team success is usually a precursor to individual success. Of course, with Rudy Gobert’s Utah Jazz dominating in the Western Conference, Green might face an uphill climb to claim the award no matter what. The good news is he’s not being judged on his decision-making on the other side of the ball.

Green came into Sunday averaging 5.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and a career-best 8.4 assists per game.

Draymond Green admits he was wrong about this NBA player

Draymond Green

Draymond Green’s Golden State Warriors had the night off on Friday, which enabled him to watch some other teams play. Green ended up following the Indiana Pacers-Los Angeles Lakers game, which led him to make an admission.

Green admitted he was wrong about Pacers backup guard T.J. McConnell.

That’s pretty harsh of Green to say McConnell should have been in the D League to start his career. McConnell ended up playing 81 games for the 76ers his first two seasons and 76 games in his third and fourth seasons. He has been a steady and reliable guard off the bench and is averaging 6.7 points and a career-high 6.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. McConnell looked solid in the Pacers’ game against the Lakers and is now a 6-year NBA player, which likely led Green to share how wrong he was.

The Sixers were big fans of McConnell too before he signed with Philly. His teammates had once gotten him a funny jersey.

Warriors’ Kent Bazemore stands up for Draymond Green after costly blunder

Draymond Green

Draymond Green cost the Golden State Warriors a win over the weekend, but his teammates are standing by him despite the gaffe.

The former Defensive Player of the Year was ejected from Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. With the Warriors up just two points, Green was whistled for two technical fouls after arguing a jump-ball call. Hornets guard Terry Rozier hit the two resulting free throws to tie the score at 100 and then won the game with a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer.

After the game, Warriors swingman Kent Bazemore defended Green on Twitter. Bazemore emphasized Green’s leadership and his three championship rings, adding that the team still had his back.

Warriors big man Eric Paschall also expressed similar support for Green.

“He said it was his fault. He took ownership,” said Paschall, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “We still rocking with Dray no matter what. S— happens in the NBA. Learn from it.”

Green is one of the most fiery players in the NBA and regularly ranks among the league leaders in technical fouls. While his loud and emotional approach can make for good leadership, it can also backfire spectacularly, as we saw on Saturday night. After all, many of us still remember the most infamous time Green’s antics cost the Warriors a victory.