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 said the way Draymond Green fouled him toward the end of Wednesday night’s play-in game left him with impaired vision, but Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum was among those who felt LeBron embellished a bit.
James drove to the basket with about two minutes left in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Golden State Warriors. Green tried to defend and ended up poking LeBron in the eye. James stayed down on the floor for a while holding his face.
McCollum saw it as a flop. He jokingly called LeBron an “actor” on Twitter and said the Lakers star was just trying to steal some extra rest before shooting his free throws.
James, of course, insists he wasn’t faking. He drained a game-winning 3-pointer shortly after the foul, and he said he was seeing three rims when he put up the shot. You can see the video here.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Tom Izzo got into a heated altercation with a player during Michigan State’s loss to UCLA on Thursday night, and Spartans alumni were quick to downplay the incident.
Izzo was upset with Gabe Brown over some poor defensive rotations at the end of the first half. Izzo confronted Brown about it, and Brown then appeared to shout in the coach’s face (video here). The two continued to argue as they headed to the locker room.
Draymond Green, one of the most prominent players to play for Izzo at Michigan State, was dismissive of the altercation. He said it is typical for Michigan State and told people to move on.
“Typical Michigan State exchange… move on RELAX!” Green tweeted.
Another former Spartan, Brandon Wood, also defended Izzo. Wood, who was teammates with Green at Michigan State from 2011-2012, said the fire we saw from Izzo on Thursday night is what he liked most about playing for the Hall of Famer.
“That was one of the parts of Izzo’s coaching style I respected the most,” Wood wrote on Twitter. “That situation going into the tunnel was nothing! He allows his players to challenge him and he’s coming right back at you! I bet he was hype after all that.”
Izzo is highly respected and beloved by most of his former players, so it’s no surprise they came to his defense. He’s known for being hard on players, which is why he also received attention for this NCAA Tournament incident two years ago.
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’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.