There’s just something about Draymond Green. Not every NBA player fits in a box or compares to stars of year’s past. The man is a true original, and what he brings most to the Golden State Warriors doesn’t show up in the stat sheet.
But there’s still a stat sheet. In the Warriors’ blowout win against the Kings on Monday, Green tallied one of his famous “triple-singles.” And the quotation marks there are for former NBA star-turned pundit Charles Barkley. Chuck likes to poke fun at Green’s lack of double-digit scoring, despite his impressive assist and rebounding numbers. Green’s scoring averages have not been so impressive since Golden State’s 73-win season in 2016.
Still, there’s something about Draymond, something essential. Steve Kerr has said in the past that he’s the Warriors heartbeat, as recalled by Bob Fitzgerald on the TV broadcast on Monday. I looked at Draymond’s stat line against Sacramento: five points, five rebounds and five assists. Steady. Like a heartbeat.
Corny? Yes. But three championships will do that.
Plus, Green’s insertion into the lineup has yielded results. The Warriors tallied an in credible 41 assists in their 137-106 win, and Green’s fingerprints were all over Golden State’s ball movement. Need proof? Here he is dishing to rookie center James Wiseman.
In fact, you could plainly see Green put his stamp on the offense all night — to no tangible avail on this play, however, but not for a lack of effort.
Not only has Green been his expressive self after returning from injury, but he also seems to be taking to his leadership duties for all the new players on the roster. He sees the talent of Wiseman, for example, and is playing a role right next to the inexperienced rookie, giving him every chance to succeed. Additionally, Green is helping Curry, his long-time running mate, unlock his own game by adding play-making and ball-handling into the mix. Oh, and he’s the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
He’s helped the Warriors achieve a massive turnaround, setting up what is sure to be a revealing set of games for Golden State, due to some tough competition. Green is clearly encouraged, however.
The about-face was still led by Curry, of course. But somehow, Green is as important, or nearly as important, as Curry is for Golden State. Green is the fire and the passion, and Curry the cold-blooded scoring machine. Not only is there something about Green, but there’s something about NBA basketball. How can a Draymond triple-single be as vital as a 30-point scoring night (plus nine rebounds and eight assists) from Curry? I’m not sure, but it’s the sort of magic that championships are made from, and we’ll see how many tricks the Warriors have left over the course of this season and into the future.
(Photo credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)