Warriors fans might want to forget the about 2015-16 NBA campaign from time to time. Golden State lost in The Finals after a league-record 73-win regular season, after all.
And at other times it’s fun to remember how magical that season was — until it came crashing down, of course.
But can we all take a moment to remember Warriors forward Draymond Green and his 14 points-per-game average during that season? It was his career-high. Green hasn’t averaged double digits in the last three-plus campaigns.
Also, let’s recall that Green actually led all players in scoring in Game 7 of those fated 2016 NBA Finals against the Cavaliers, notching 32 points.
The point is that Green can score. Recently, he simply hasn’t done much of it though. But when he does, the Warriors usually win (just forget about that NBA Finals Game 7 that I mentioned a second ago).
Here are the details, courtesy of The Athletic’s game story after the Warriors beat the Kings on Monday and Green had a triple-double.
Green finished with a healthy 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the Kings. The stat that was referenced postgame: The Warriors are now 30-1 all time when Green has a triple-double.
But how about another stat that has to do only with the scoring portion of that column. The Warriors are 9-1 this season when Green has double-digit points and 24-5 the past two seasons when he scores at least 10.Anthony Slater/The Athletic
Green isn’t a naturally gifted scorer. As the entire NBA knows, he’s an elite defender. But with all of the space that superstar guard Stephen Curry creates, Green’s hesitancy to score easy buckets himself when he’s wide open definitely hurts the Warriors. When he scores, it clearly helps.
At times, the defense sags off Green so far that it’s almost as if they are playing 5-on-4. Though I mentioned Green’s average, it’s not so important how many points he scores per game. What is important, however, is that he is a threat to the defense, especially in the paint, which is often wide open thanks to the Warriors’ spacing.
If he can, the Warriors could get to 2016-level greatness — with an opportunity to finish the job in the NBA Finals and perhaps erase some ghosts of years past.