The Golden State Warriors have been in a freefall. After March 27 loss to the Washington Wizards, the Dubs have now dropped five straight, and are in danger of falling below the third seed.
With seven games left to play, only three games separate the Dubs, Dallas Mavericks, and Utah Jazz. If the Dubs don’t pick up more wins the rest of the regular season, they could potentially lose home court advantage in the first round.
Without a single seven-footer on the roster, the team will rely heavily on Draymond Green and Kevon Looney to man the paint. Nemanja Bjelica will likely see minutes here and there, but most of the minutes at the five will be up to Green and Looney. Looney has held up his side of the bargain this season, but Green has still been trying to find his footing, after missing about two months with his leg and lower back injury.
Draymond Green Admits His Play Has Been Awful
Green has returned for just about two weeks, but his performance on the court has left much to be desired. In six games, Green averages 4.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5 assists, on 33.3% shooting. What’s worse is the fact he has scored 25 total points in this stretch while turning the ball over 15 times. The Warriors have gone 1-5 since his return, although much of that is possibly impacted by Steph Curry’s absence.
After the loss to the Wizards, Green spoke to reporters and said what many fans and pundits have been saying for weeks.
“I feel terrible, I’m playing terrible. I’ve never been on a team that gets worse when I’m on the floor, and that’s where we’re at right now.”
The sample size maybe small, but in six games that the forward has returned, he is at a minus-6.8 when he is on the court. On the contrary, Looney is at a plus-1.3 on the court during the same stretch. Remember, Looney was recently removed from the starting lineup to give way to Green to start at center.
Green Might Be Battling Residual Issues from His Injury: Expert
Green did admit that he felt healthy while he was on the court, despite his poor play. However, there are instances since his return where Green has not looked the same.
Check out this clip here when Green immediately grabs his lower back after shooting a three pointer against the San Antonio Spurs on March 20.
Dr. Nirav Pandyam, an associate professor of UCSF Orthopedic Surgery, spoke with Heavy.com on the possible reason for Green grabbing his back after the shot.
“Anytime an athlete is recovering from a back injury, sudden/explosive movements can place a strain on the back, particularly the lower back. Although most of his symptoms were reported by the team as lower leg related, there can always be some residual inflammation locally around the disc that can cause back pain.”
This could be the reason Green has not looked like himself while on the court. Unlike his usual self, his movements on the court have not been natural with what we usually see from him.
“Just trying to find my timing,” Green says to reporters after the Wizards’ loss. “I feel a step slow on everything. The game feels like it’s moving a million miles per hour for me right now.”
Pandyam thinks that a lot of Green’s current struggles have to do on the conditioning side. He mentions that back injuries are difficult to simulate in a live game setting, especially since rehabbing does not give players the ability to deal with the same speed and contact they would encounter during games.
Hopefully, this is just timing as Green mentioned, and he looks more like himself before the playoffs start. The Warriors can ill afford to have Green not look like himself if they want to go deep into the postseason.