“I don’t think it’s a championship hangover” Draymond Green opens up about Warriors’ mediocre season

Nobody expected the Golden State Warriors to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. The reigning champs were not only missing both Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins on the second leg of a back-to-back, but the Clippers came in at full strength, with Ty Lue’s rotation refilled after bringing in Eric Gordon, Mason Plumlee, and Bones Hyland at the trade deadline.

Perhaps most indicative of Golden State’s anticipated problems will end the season on a positive note? Kawhi Leonard returned to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup, looking as fresh after not playing in over a week.

The Warriors fought hard, but couldn’t keep up with a peak Leonard and the reloaded Clippers, falling 134-124. The loss drops Golden State to .500, ninth in the Western Conference at 29-29, and only one game ahead of the 12th-place Oklahoma City Thunder in the standings.

When asked on the postgame podium if his team’s disappointing season might be attributed to a “championship hangover,” Draymond Green instantly pushed back, claiming defensive focus as the reason for the Warriors’ efforts.

“I don’t think it’s a championship hangover. It’s a will to want to defend,” he said. “You’re not hungover at .500, 60 games into the season. You’re a loser if you’re still hungover at that point, so there’s no hangover. It’s the will to defend, stop and guard your man, sink in help and trap the box, and rotate. Defense is all one to two steps extra. I’ma take that extra step to get there or I’m not. That’s all well, and we don’t have that as a team.”

Golden State’s defensive rating against the Clippers was a whopping 139.6, their lowest in a game this season. The Warriors are 19th in overall defensive efficiency, with their 118.9 defensive rating away from home ranking third in the NBA.

Green, unsurprisingly, is one of basketball’s most influential defenders, despite the Dubs’ below-average defense.  While he’s on the court, Golden State allows 10.1 fewer points per 100 possessions, putting him in the 99th percentile among players in the league.

Even if Green isn’t quite the all-time defender he was a couple of years ago, he’s hardly the Warriors’ defensive problem. Nonetheless, he accepts responsibility for Golden State’s “failing” defense.

“I’m just as much of a culprit as anyone else. I’m not gonna point the finger at anyone or point blame,” Green said. “If you’re a leader of something and you’re failing at it it’s your fault, you don’t need to look any further.”

The Warriors have 24 regular-season games remaining and are in the thick of a historically crowded Western Conference playoff competition.



Sayma Yeasmin

235 articles

I write cause that's the only way I know to sound sane.


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