The Golden State Warriors find themselves 6-6 currently after their most recent loss to Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. For the majority of their young season, the Warriors have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
Luckily for them, their former Defensive Player of the Year, and All-Star forward, Draymond Green returned to their lineup and has helped spark them to be better. From teaching younger players on the floor to calling out coverages, one reason the Warriors are more competitive now is due to Green.
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Green’s ‘IQ’ is Other Worldly
Having veterans on the team are a great way to help inspire confidence in younger players. They can help set the tone, tempo, and aggressiveness needed to compete on a nightly basis.
Following Golden State’s loss against the Indiana Pacers, some of the younger Warriors opened up about what it’s like to play alongside Green.
“His IQ is out of this world, defensively,” swingman Andrew Wiggins stated to reporters via NBC Sports. “He’s everywhere.”
Wiggins wasn’t the only one to state their opinion on the matter. Backup big man Kevon Looney also said how much of a defensive ‘quarterback’ Green has been.
“Having Draymond back has been a big help. He’s a quarterback, the anchor of our defense. Having him out there has been great. He’s been able to talk to Andrew and Kelly [Oubre Jr.] to give them that confidence. They can pressure the ball and him and James and the other bigs back there to protect them has really changed our intensity of our defense.”
Green Took Recent Losses ‘Personally’
At the end of the day, this game is about wins and losses. This Warriors team still has time to figure out a consistent winning formula but that doesn’t mean their leaders aren’t taking it harshly.
Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr explained what he’s seen Green go through as of late and what he expects out of him moving forward.
“He prides himself on being the anchor of our defense, and the engine, and he’s been our heart and soul here for a long time,” Kerr stated to reporters via NBC Sports. “You saw what happened when he was out the first few games, and upon his return our defense got much better, so we’re always going to need him to captain the defense, to give us that energy and that edge that we need to compete every night.
“I imagine he’ll bounce back strongly in L.A. when we play Monday night.”
Originally, the Warriors were going to play against the Phoenix Suns on Friday evening. However, the game was postponed due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Their next game will be Monday on Martin Luther King Day against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers currently have the best record in the NBA and will be a tall task for this undermanned Warriors team.
Regardless, Golden State has had ample time to prepare and will look to make a statement against the best the NBA has to offer.