Draymond Green has been a liability for the Golden State Warriors for three out of the four games of this year’s NBA Finals.
On Friday night, with his team staring down the barrel of a 3-1 series deficit, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made the tough decision to take Green out of the game because of how poorly he was playing.
With a little more than seven minutes left in the outing and Golden State trailing 90-86, Kerr took out Green and Nemanja Bjelica to put in Kevon Looney and Andrew Wiggins. That duo, coupled with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole, changed the trajectory of the entire affair.
Golden State then went on to outscore Boston 11-4. With his team now holding a three-point advantage, Kerr put Green back in four minutes later.
The decision to bench Green, ultimately, saved this series for the Warriors.
In fact, if not for it, fans wouldn’t have been introduced to Dell Curry’s new girlfriend. So it was a win on all fronts.
After the game, Green was asked how he felt about getting benched. Some NBA stars don’t react too kindly when it happens to them.
“Someone asked if Coach [Steve] Kerr talked to me about it,” Green said afterward. “Absolutely not. Nor did he need to.”
“I be shocked when teams… I’ve been struggling, as we all can see. I played a better game tonight, better overall game, but definitely was struggling from the field, struggling on the offensive end,” he said. “And I be shocked when teams feel like ‘Oh man, something is working for us, but we have to go back to this guy because of a resumé, because of a contract, because of whatever reason people feel that they need to go back to them.
“This is the playoffs. I don’t get caught up in — As long as we win the game, whether I’m playing, or Wigs is playing, or Loon is playing, or whoever else is playing.. You could throw whoever out there. As long as we win, I really don’t care. The whole notion of ‘oh man, you have to check in with certain guys if you’re gonna take them out of the game or if you think it’s better for the team. I think that’s ridiculous,” he continued.
“I watch teams every year in the playoffs not sub guys that they know they should sub and they lose. So the fact that Steve went away from me for a little while… Was I pissed and frustrated? Absolutely. Seven minutes to go in an extremely important game. You can’t go down 3-1 — you don’t wanna go down 3-1 — and I’m coming out of the game.”
You have to respect Green’s spirit there, though it would be nice if he also just played better basketball. He finished Game 4 with two points on 1-of-7 shooting. And while his nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals were no doubt nice, he is a legitimate Ben Simmons-esque liability on offense at this point.
You can just see it.
Hopefully Green can get back on track. So far his most valuable contribution to the Warriors’ Finals run has been getting NBA referees to admit that they give him special treatment.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 11, 2022
The Warriors need two wins to claim another championship.
Will Green help them secure those two victories?
Time will tell.