On Christmas Day, the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, faced LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in the 2018-19 NBA season. Despite having a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, the Warriors still failed to beat the Lakers team that lost two of their key players, James and Rajon Rondo, to injury at the Oracle Arena.
After suffering a 26-point loss, Draymond Green said that he should take all the blame for their struggle on the offensive end of the floor. Green admitted that he became hesitant in shooting the ball and making plays and fell to the Lakers’ “gimmick defense.” Green thinks his poor performance has affected the Warriors’ rhythm in the entire game.
Per Nick Friedell of ESPN, Kevin Durant doesn’t seem to be concerned at all with the Warriors’ current struggle. He also disagreed that Green is at fault for their recent losses. However, Durant believes that since the 2018-19 NBA season started, Green has been hesitating to shoot the ball from beyond the arc and was passing too much.
“I hate when he hesitates,” Durant said. “I hate when he’s looking to pass when he should shoot. I tell him that all the time. That’s hard to figure that out as a player, especially when their game is facilitating and getting everyone involved — when to turn that on and think about yourself. It’s not selfishness but it’s just that we need that in order for us to be good. It’s really unselfishness when you go out there and be the best player you can be scoring the basketball sometimes.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 27, 2018
Compared to the previous seasons, opposing teams no longer considered Draymond Green as a huge threat from beyond the arc. This season, the 28-year-old power forward remains an incredible rebounder and playmaker, averaging 7.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists. However, in 21 games, his scoring average dropped to 7.1 points on 40.7 percent shooting from the field and 22.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In order to have a higher chance of winning their third consecutive NBA championship title, the Warriors need Draymond Green to regain his All-Star form. Green should show some improvements with his floor-spacing for the Warriors’ offense to become more effective. Luckily, Green and the Warriors still have plenty of time to address the issues on their roster before the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs.
The Warriors’ next game will be against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night at the Oracle Arena.