Draymond Green looks to make an impact despite scoring issues

Draymond Green looks to make an impact despite scoring issues

Draymond Green’s offensive struggles have forced Warriors coach Steve Kerr to juggle his formation more than usual.

San Francisco (AFP) – When the Golden State Warriors pushed him back in the final quarter to return to the NBA Finals, Draymond Green had an unusual role as a spectator.

The versatile Green, who was a supporter of the Golden State dynasty, was pulled off a rough time in Match 4 in a shocking – and effective – decision by coach Steve Kerr.

Now with the series back in California, heading to Game 5 Monday night, Kerr said he has no qualms about what gets him out of Green the rest of the way.

“Draymond is Draymond. He’s going to have it every night,” Kerr said on Sunday. “I think the thing that probably got lost last night is how awesome he is. He ended up in the game with four heists. He was a brilliant defensive man. He did what we needed to do to win the match.”

Green said he was not “elated” with Kerr’s decision in Friday night’s Game 4 in Boston to send him off the bench with the Warriors dropping by four points with 7:32 to play.

But the move worked out well, with Golden State leading 11-4 behind a lineup that includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Paul, Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Looney.

Green came back with 3:41 to play as the Warriors led 97-94, then went in and out with Paul as Kerr used the green mostly when Golden State was on defense. The plan worked and Golden State won 107-97 to tie the series in two games each.

“I think I affected the game throughout the game,” Green said. “I think you can get caught up in everything that is going on around you, but those of you who watch and understand basketball, it affected the whole game. So I don’t think there was a substitution in the last few minutes.”

Green has been one of the main gears in the Warriors since Kerr arrived in the 2014-15 season and immediately promoted Green to a key role before Andre Iguodala.

Green’s defensive versatility has been a key factor in Golden State’s small ball formations and his playmaking skills helped capitalize whenever opponents tried to double Curry’s side.

Kerr has had to juggle more with his squad this year rather than find the center – if any – who works best with his superstars.

“It looks a little different this year,” Kerr said. “There was a lot more mixing and matching. Really proud of the group, everyone, for their willingness and willingness and not allowing this kind of change and tweaks from game to game to annoy them.”

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While Green remained a staunch defensive champion, his offensive game fell as he almost stopped taking three-pointers and rarely looked for his shot.

After setting the tone defensively in Game 2’s home win, Green was virtually invisible on the offensive end of the two games in Boston and was occasionally tapped defensively in a match 3 loss.

Green scored only four points in a 2-11 shot in the two games in Boston, but he contributed nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in Game Four.

Green only shoots 23% in the series with an average of 4.3 points, which prompted Kerr to go with Looney in place at the crucial moments when he only wanted one non-shooter on the field.

If the Warriors are going to take two more matches and win a fourth championship during this round, they will likely need to find more offensive assistance for Curry.

Curry scored 32.5% of Golden State points in the series, the third-highest total in the NBA Finals in the past 15 seasons behind only two years for LeBron James in Cleveland.

Curry said the key in the next few games is to tweak the way the Celtics handle Golden State’s “pet games” and that Green is the perfect player to help make that happen.

“I think he’s going to do an amazing job of adapting and figuring out where he can find his angles and ways to influence the offensive end,” Curry said. “This, again, will feed into the way it affects the game on the defensive end of every game. So it’s usually discovered by guys with high intelligence, and he’s at the top of that list when it comes to understanding the game of basketball.”

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