Draymond Green is currently sitting out of the rotation in Golden State Warriors after sustaining a toe injury against Memphis Grizzlies on home earlier this month. While Green did return to the lineup for a brief moment, his return sparked a shockwave across the league, when at the end of regulation of the Clippers game, Draymond refused to pass the ball to Kevin Durant, bringing the ball up the court and then turning the ball over in the potential game-winning possession as the clock ticks to 0. What ensues afterwards spells trouble at the bench of Golden State. Multiple players, including veterans Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, and newcomer DeMarcus Cousins, have to fuse the tension between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Reports have surfaced that while KD sparked the tension calling out Draymond’s poor basketball IQ and execution in crunchtime, Draymond retaliated and even brought up the topic of free agency to KD in the heated exchange, which remains a question in the future for the multiple Finals MVP.
The drama continues, as the team announces the next day that Draymond will not be participating in the next match because of inappropriate conduct detrimental to the team. While Draymond joked about his one-game suspension to alleviate some of his pain from his aggravating toe injury, the message is clear: Green did a lot more internal damage in the Warriors than intended. After the one game at home, Warriors embarked on their Midwest trip to the Texas state, beginning their three game road trip against the Texas trio. Before their rematch against the Western Conference Finals opponent, who nearly eliminated them last postseason, Draymond Green announced that the team is able to diffuse the situation, and that the team has gotten stronger from the argument, that every team should definitely be on notice. While that may be the case, the game showed otherwise. Golden State suffered their second-worst loss against the Rockets, and Draymond Green went scoreless, turned the ball over 5 times, and was -10 in his only 23 minutes of action.
The organization felt that they should be cautioned about Green’s injury, and enlisted Green as out for an extended period of time. In the stretch of Green’s absence, Golden State dropped the following 2 games against the two other Texas teams of Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs. It remains in question whether the reason behind Green’s absence from the team is due to the team’s cautionary steps of handling and tending to his injury or the Warriors’ attempts of continuing to diffusing the situation of KD and Draymond, despite what they say to the media. Bottom line is that Golden State is in trouble. They lost their rhythm, and have dropped 3 consecutive games in a long time.
While Draymond is an invaluable member to the Golden State squad, acknowledging his season’s production of 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, it appears that the injury is really affecting with Green’s playing styles. Even though Golden State desperately needs his defensive presence, rebounding effort, and emotional competitiveness on the court, Green looks like he is struggling to contribute on his effort due to the injury. In the one game against the Rockets, which he played limited minutes, Green went scoreless and contributed a game-high of 5 turnovers. While Golden State need Green’s leadership on the court, it is more important for them to tend to his injury, and allowed other players, such as Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney, to really develop and thrive under the system of Golden State. Green’s presence will definitely be missed by Golden State, but that is the current cost that they must pay in order for long-term success of the ultimate goal of winning the championship.
Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison