Draymond Green Puts Warriors on Notice Ahead of All-Star Break

Draymond Green

Getty Images Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Draymond Green doesn’t believe the Golden State Warriors are dealing with a championship hangover.

Green believes it’s more about the Warriors’ lack of commitment to their play on the defensive end, which was glaring in a 134-124 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a championship hangover. It’s a will to want to defend,” Green said. “You’re not hungover at .500, 60 games into the season. You’re a loser if you’re still hungover at that point, so there’s no hangover. It’s the will to defend, stop and guard your man, sink in help and trap the box, rotate. Defense is all one to two steps extra. I’ma take that extra step to get there or I’m not. That’s all will, and we don’t have that as a team.”

And Green — a former Defensive Player of the Year — was not shy to point out that his defense hasn’t been up to snuff either.

“I’m just as much of a culprit as anyone else. I’m not gonna point the finger at anyone or point blame,” Green said. “If you’re a leader of something and you’re failing at it it’s your fault, you don’t need to look any further.”

The loss dropped the Warriors to 29-29 and the defending champs are exactly what their record indicates — a middle-of-the-pack team. Green knows they’re running out of time to get on the right track.

“It’s now or never. We’re at .500 at the break, middle-of-the-pack team with those middle-of-the-pack stats,” Green said. “So you got to come out the break and win and do it at a high level, or you go home in the beginning of April.”

Warriors Still Confident Despite Inconsistency

The Warriors have enough championship experience on the roster to be a threat when the postseason arrives, as long as they make it there. Coach Steve Kerr is remaining optimistic.

“I think our bench is playing much better than it was early in the season when we got off to the slow start,” Kerr said after the loss. “Our starters are now picking it up. [Andrew Wiggins] and Klay and [Kevon Looney] is just like a rock every single night. Draymond’s playing well. So again, if we can stay the course and get Steph and hopefully get Gary, we got reinforcements coming and we got a lot to look forward to.”

The Warriors will have to start stringing together wins after the All-Star break to stay in the mix in the highly-competitive Western Conference. Golden State is just 2.5 games back of the No. 4 seed but also one game away from falling out of the playoff/play-in picture.

Warriors Timeline For Stephen Curry’s Return Uncertain

A big problem for the Warriors is that Stephen Curry is not healthy. The two-time MVP is dealing with a lower leg injury that has kept him out since February 4.

“Ligaments can heal in all different types of timelines,” Curry told reporters on February 13. “So there’s a window for each checkpoint. After the All-Star break, I will hopefully get back on the court, and then depending on how things go from there, we can key in on a specific date to get back.”

It’s uncertain when he’ll be back on the court, although the Warriors hope it’s shortly after the All-Star break. However, Curry indicated he won’t be back for their first game out of the hiatus on February 23 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Warriors are also hoping to get Gary Payton II back for the final stretch of the regular season. Golden State reunited with Payton at the trade deadline but a failed physical discovered a core injury that will keep him out at least a month.

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