In the wake of the punch heard ’round the Bay, there were big questions about the Golden State Warriors‘ ability to proceed with a title defense while Draymond Green remained in the fold. And there are still real questions to be asked about how deep the wounds of that incident run, especially given the team’s poor start.
That said, where attempting to win games and being a guiding force for his teammates is concerned, Green has definitely been a force for good since the punch.
From “holding the floor” during the team meeting that ignited the Dubs’ recent turnaround to helping to stabilize what, to this point, has been a woeful second unit, Green looks to be as committed as ever to bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to Chase Center.
That commitment may not always come out in soft and fuzzy ways but, after four chips in eight years, it’s hard to argue with the results. According to the Warriors’ architect, that dymanic — and the way it has translated to winning — hearkens back to one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Myers Invokes the Name of Kobe Bryant
Warriors president Bob Myers guested recently on Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast, where he was interviewed by “We Believe” legends Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. As the three were discussing Green and his importance to the team, the Dubs’ chief decision-maker compared him to the late, great Kobe Bryant.
“You know, rest in peace, Kobe. But he lived on that edge, too. He wasn’t an easy teammate,” Myers said. “He made you show up a certain way. If you didn’t, he didn’t let you off the hook. He did everything he asked you to do. He did. That’s why it was so easy, he did it more.
“He’s like ‘I’m asking you to just come close to what I’m doing. Not like talent-wise, but effort, play hard, don’t skip games.’ I don’t know if he ever rested a game — you couldn’t have sat him down if you tried.”
Added Myers: “People like that, usually are successful because most people aren’t as competitive as him. But people like that sometimes in life, because of that competitiveness, test the edge, right? It could be a gift and a curse. But in professional sports, this ain’t easy out there.”
Draymond’s Impact on the Court Has Been Immense
For the year, Green is putting up the kind of line that Dub Nation has come to expect from him. As of this writing, he’s averaging 7.9 points, 7.1 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals across 17 contests while shooting a career-best 57.7% from the field. However, the advanced numbers paint an even rosier portrait of his contributions.
Green’s net rating of 9.7 is the No. 2 mark teamwide, trailing leader Kevon Looney by just 0.5. Meanwhile, his net swing of 24.2 points per 100 possessions trails only Stephen Curry (who’s at 29.2). So, Golden State is exponentially better when he’s on the floor.
On the other end, his defensive box plus/minus score of 2.1 leads the team. And opposing players’ field goal percentages drop by 6.9% on average when Green is the nearest defender.