Before the Golden State Warriors handed the Los Angeles Lakers a 121-106 loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, Warriors superstar Draymond Green received a message from one of the team’s assistant coaches — and it may have helped save the Dubs’ season.
Green finished Game 5 with the most impressive stat line he has had all series: 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals (stats via ESPN). It was the first 20-point, 10-board performance Dray has had in the playoffs since 2019, and the second time he has scored 20 or more points this postseason.
After the win, the veteran forward revealed the comments Warriors Assistant Coach for Player Development Jacob Rubin had before the game that lit a fire under him.
Green: I Needed to Make My Presence Felt in This Series
Green played just under 30 minutes in Golden State’s Game 5 win over L.A., and the Dubs were a +13 when he was on the court. After Golden State’s win, the big man said he tried to come out and dominate from the get-go after having a conversation with Rubin.
“I definitely wanted to come out and set a tone,” Green said postgame, via NBA.com. “Jacob Rubin told me before the game, like, You played well, but I still haven’t felt your presence like I know you can, like your presence should be felt. That’s coming out aggressive both ends of the floor. That’s verbally, so everyone hears you on the floor.”
Dray admitted his coach’s comments affected him.
“I felt a little disrespected when he said it, so I knew it was on me to come out and, like you said, set the tone for our guys,” Green added, noting he was planning on entering Game 6 with a similar mindset. “Come out aggressive, season’s on the line, back against the wall, you got to come out and give all that you got. That was just my mindset coming into this game and that will be my mindset going into the next one.”
Steve Kerr Thinks Klay Thompson Is About to Go Off
One player who hasn’t made much of an offensive impact in the series against the Lakers is superstar guard Klay Thompson, who hasn’t scored more than 15 points since Game 2. Thompson shot just 25% from the floor in Game 5, finishing with just 10 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says it’s just a matter of time before Klay heats up.
“The thing with Klay is, he’s an incredible two-way basketball player and that’s what wins in the playoffs,” Kerr said after Game 5, via NBA TV. “Shooting comes and goes, even for the best. But if you can defend, which Klay obviously can do, then you can help a team win a playoff game. The great thing is, we know Klay’s due for a good shooting night.”
That good night had better happen soon.
The Warriors hope to force a Game 7 in the series, with Game 6 taking place at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Golden State would host the decisive Game 7 if the series gets that far.