Golden State Warriors

Steve Kerr: Warriors are ‘a better team’ when Draymond Green a threat to score

With the Warriors’ season over as other teams compete in the playoffs, it’s time for some honest reflection from Golden State’s coaching staff and players. With such an uneven, underachieving campaign, some of those reflections are sure to be cringe-worthy.

Take forward Dramond Green for example. His inconsistency when trying to score field goals was perhaps worse than ever, save for his rookie season. He scored just seven points per game, shooting 27 percent from 3-point range. (He did shoot a very solid 54 percent from the field overall.)

It’s likely frustrating for Kerr because he’s seen Green be much better at scoring his own buckets. Green simply hasn’t been as assertive there, and Kerr says if Green can be more like his old self, the Warriors are a better club.

As Kerr alluded to, Green will always dish assists, rebound and play other-worldly defense. But if he’s a threat on offense, it helps Kerr’s motion offense tremendously — especially when it comes to freeing up superstar guard Stephen Curry for open looks.

It must be noted that scoring field goals has never been Green’s strength. But he was never close to inept, as he was last season. Kerr mentions 3-point shots, and more of those would no-doubt be great for Golden State. But Green’s awkwardness near the hoop — when he has a chance for an easy bucket — really hurt the Warriors last year.

The most obvious example came during Golden State’s elimination loss in the NBA Play-In Tournament. The play below occurred in crunch time against the Grizzlies. Warning: this layup attempt could be painful to watch.

Holy smokes. The ABC TV crew didn’t even know if Green was passing or shooting. I can’t blame them.

Green’s apparent “yips” near the bucket might not hurt as much after guard Klay Thompson returns, but my goodness, did Green’s ineptness near the hoop cost Golden State over the just completed campaign. With defenses swarming Curry, Golden State could never figure out how to capitalize consistently.

Often, the best play was Green to the rim. Sometimes, nobody would even guard him. But his confidence as a scorer appears nearly empty. Somehow, he has to get it back. Kerr’s job is to make sure he does, even if it’s just a little bit. With Curry and Thompson on the court, a fraction of the old Green would go a long way.

(Photo credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

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