After the Warriors’ loss to the Blazers on Wednesday, coach Steve Kerr said his team needs more scoring from players besides star guard Stephen Curry, in a statement that surprised nobody.
Curry had 35 points on the evening, despite being outdone by Portland guard Damian Lillard in the fourth quarter. No other Golden State player had more than 14 points that night.
Here’s what Kerr said to reporters following the Blazers loss.
“We just need more scoring, in general, from anybody other than Steph. He’s generating everything for us, on or off the ball,” Kerr said. “We don’t necessarily need scoring from one position. We just need people to step up night-in and night-out to provide some extra scoring for us, so we’re not relying solely on Steph.”
Makes sense. It’s got to be a team effort. Kerr also made sure to point out that guard Kelly Oubre Jr. missed the game and Golden State missed his scoring punch.
Per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, forward Draymond Green didn’t have much to say when asked about where the extra points can come from.
Asked where the Warriors could get some more scoring, Green said: “Uh. Umm. I don’t know.”
After the team’s basketball savant thought a few more seconds on the subject, he said: “That’s kind of the way our offense is set up. I think it just is what it is. Like, the offense is set up to work around Steph, and you kind of get what you get off that.”Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle
I’ve got an idea: Draymond Green could score some more points. How’s that for a radical thought? His scoring average has plummeted to 5.7 points per game, down from a high of 14 per game in Golden State’s 73-win season in 2016.
It’s true that scoring field goals isn’t Greens strong suit; that’s been clear since he was a rookie. But Green is clearly in position to help more on the scoring end, especially considering what Kerr said about the need for multiple players to step up and score more, plus what Green himself said about the offense working around Curry.
Opposing defenses are laying off Green not only at the 3-point line, where he shoots 23 percent this year, they’re leaving him alone near the basket, too. Green has to take advantage of easy-bucket opportunities created by Curry and the offense. He’s made more of his layups and dunks lately, but he’s still shooting just 39 percent from the floor.
And though Green often lives my his Twitter handle “Money Green” on important 3-pointers — such as the trey he hit late against the Blazers — he’d do better to take a few dribbles inside the arch and see what happens, even if that’s a more make-able mid-range jumper.
But it’s mostly those opportunities around the hoop. That means laying it up rather than tossing up a lob pass for a potential dunk once in a while. Sometimes, Green has a clear look at the hoop but passes the ball instead. Sure, it works out a lot, but not all the time, and a layup is supposed to be the easiest shot in basketball. It is the easiest shot in basketball.
And that’s really all Green has to do to help with Golden State’s scoring load. Just hit the open layup or dunk when it’s given. It appears to be a confidence issue for Green, and it also appears he’s regaining that confidence. He has every reason to; with Curry on his team, he should feast on easy opportunities. That’s the idea for the Warriors this year, and Kerr will expect that from Green and the entire roster after the All-Star break.
(Photo credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)