The Golden State Warriors season ended a lot sooner than they hoped at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. Even so, there was still some good that came from their regular season play.
Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, elaborated on just that recently in an interview with KNBR’s “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks.” Last season, the Warriors star and former Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green, had a down season being the only star of Golden State’s big 3 to play in most of the team’s games.
This year, he was able to share that responsibility with Steph Curry and bounced back in ways that pleased Kerr.
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Kerr Was Happy For Green This Season
In the NBA’s 2019-2020 season the Warriors won a grand total of 15 games. A far fall from grace considering they were in the NBA Finals the season before.
Coming into the 2020-21 season, the team was expected to be a strong contender within the western conference for another NBA finals run. However, an early injury to their star shooting guard Klay Thompson ended that notion before the season began.
Now that it’s over, players and coaches can elaborate on more of what happened this season in detail with them all taking time away from the game. One person that did is Kerr as he spoke about being “really happy” for Green after their tumultuous 2019-20 campaign.
“I was just really happy for Draymond,” Kerr said on the KNBR program via NBC Sports. “Last season was tough for him, too. I used to call him ‘The Lone Survivor’ with [Klay Thompson] and [Steph Curry] both being out. I mean, the poor guy was out there by himself half the time, and it was really frustrating for him. So I was just really happy for Draymond, and he just had a fantastic year and re-established himself as a great player in this league.”
“And the exciting thing is, he really wants to win a title,” Kerr continued. “He really wants to be back in the limelight as a group, as a team. And he’s so motivated this summer. … We’re all bummed that he didn’t make the playoffs, but we have to look on the bright side, which is that our team’s in a really good frame of mind.
“We’re gonna be — knock on wood — we’re gonna be healthy going into camp, and we re-established that connection between Draymond and Steph, which is really what the team revolves around. Very exciting.”
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Green Will Need To Step Up Next Season
Kerr may have been happy for Green for stepping up and anchoring the team this season, but more will be needed as the group moves into their offseason. For the year, Green averaged 7 points, 1.7 steals, 8.9 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and shooting almost 45% from the field per game.
These averages and his consistent defensive play landed him fourth in the league in assists per game and he’s a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. However, for the Warriors to compete within the western conference, Green will have to average more points to make himself a more serious threat on the offensive side of the ball.
Had his attempt at the basket during the last seconds of the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies gone differently, the Warriors could be in the playoffs right now. Rather than dwell on what could have been, if Green can focus on upping his scoring for the team next season they may not be in situations like that moving forward.