The Golden State Warriors have found their winning ways again, but a disappointing loss to an Eastern Conference lightweight shows Draymond Green the team is still far from being a contender.
Green spoke out after the team suffered a late collapse in a 118-114 loss to the Washington Wizards. Though the win was the sixth straight for Washington, Green said they were expected to beat the 25-33 opponent and disappointed they could not end the road trip on a high note. The big man shared some strong words about his team’s play and inability to win the easy ones.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Green Wants Better
After the game, Green acknowledged that the Warriors appear to have righted the ship after some early struggles. Golden State had won five games out of six games going into Wednesday’s contest, remaining within the bracket for the new play-in tournament that will pit the No. 7 through No. 10 teams in a series of games to determine the final two seeds. But Green said losing to the Wizards was a major setback, one they should not have suffered.
“I think we’re getting better, but part of getting better and part of being a good team is you have to win the games you’re supposed to win,” he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau. “We’re still not doing that.”
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 22, 2021
With the loss, the Warriors ended their road trip at 3-2 and failed to gain ground in their quest for the No. 6 spot or better, which would allow them to avoid the play-in tournament. Green’s teammates shared in the frustration after the loss in which the Warriors blew an 11-point lead over the final six minutes of the game.
“It’s tough, so you got to stay positive with where we are overall with a good window of games coming up,” Stephen Curry told reporters after the game, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “Three and two, solid. Should have been 5-0, could have been 4-1. It wasn’t. Move on.”
Green Aims Higher
As Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle noted, Green appears to be out-of-step with some others on the team regarding their goals for the season. While head coach Steve Kerr has viewed the play-in tournament as an opportunity for the team and Curry shared a similar assessment, Green has said he’s not enamored with the idea of sneaking in the back end of the playoffs.
“I hate f****** losing,” Green said after an early April loss to the Heat, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “So, when I step on the floor, I want to win. But I’ll be 100% honest with you, fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me. We’re in what, (10th)? Fighting for a (play-in) spot doesn’t motivate me at all.”
The best counter to criticism of the NBA play-in tourney: More Stephen Curry. https://t.co/5RzQ4kqKYW
— Post Sports (@PostSports) April 20, 2021
But it appears increasingly likely that’s where the Warriors could be headed. At 29-30, they are currently three-and-a-half games out of the No. 6 spot that would allow them to avoid the tournament, and three games up on the No. 11 spot that falls outside the playoffs.