Mavs’ Luka Doncic Sounds Off on Warriors’ Draymond Green

Mavs star Luka Doncic tries to score against Warriors star Draymond Green

Getty Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks draws a foul against Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors and Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors face the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 Western Conference Finals and there is plenty of star power in the series.

Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic are the headliners. The former is averaging 26.9 points and 5.6 assists in the 2022 playoffs thus far, while the latter is putting up 31.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.

Curry and Klay Thompson are the Warriors’ two best players. However, Doncic believes Draymond Green is the “key” to Golden State’s success.

“I have so much respect for Draymond, man,” Doncic said on May 17. “Obviously, Klay and Steph [are] incredible offensive guys. The key to the Warriors team is Draymond. He is just unbelievable. I really respect him. Everything he does. Obviously, no disrespect, but he’s not the best offensive guy, but he impacts the game in every other category. So, I really have a lot of respect for the guy.”

Green is averaging 7.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in the 2022 playoffs. The Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round in five games and eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round in six games.

Warriors Need Green to Be Aggressive vs. Mavs

Green is averaging only 5.9 shots per game in the 2022 playoffs. In the Warriors’ Game 6 win against the Grizzlies, Green took 14 shots. According to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, it was the 65th time Green attempted 10 shots in a postseason game. The Warriors are 51-14 in those games.

“Really, the magic number is nine shots. The Warriors are 68-19 when Green gets up at least nine. Fewer than nine? The Warriors are 26-21,” Thompson II wrote. “As much as Green contends it doesn’t make sense for him to shoot on a team stocked with scorers, the Warriors are dramatically better when he takes shots. Not only does he need to punish defenses for playing off of him and mucking up Golden State’s sets, but Green’s shots are largely created by the offense. As Don Nelson used to say, shots created must be taken. That’s especially true when you’re playing next to Stephen Curry. Those openings are often good looks because of the attention he draws. And the truth is, when Green has the mind to, he’s pretty good at converting the shots that are available.”

Green will be tasked with defending Doncic, facilitating the offense and leading the defense. That’s a lot for one player to handle in a seven-game series, but Curry — like Doncic — knows Green is ready.

Curry on Green: ‘He Knows What’s Required to Win’

Curry and Green have won three titles together. They have a strong bond and Curry has no doubt Green is prepared for the Mavs.

“He’s obviously a gamer,” Curry said. “He knows what’s required to win. I know he has a responsibility to influence the game a lot of different ways and so his offensive input kind of gets pushed to the bottom of that priority list a little bit. Maybe a little bit too much. So for him just to be aggressive like he did, that’s what he’s capable and we have confidence that he can do it.”

Green has career postseason averages of 12.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He’s one of the most versatile players in NBA history.

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