The Golden State Warriors have experienced many changes in the last couple of seasons since their last trip to the NBA Finals. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of big man Draymond Green to the team’s success. That is especially true this season when an Achilles injury to Klay Thompson leaves Green and Stephen Curry as the team’s remaining All-Stars from their championship years.
However, while Green continues to excel as a defender and passer for the Warriors, his scoring has been noticeably absent. This season, Green is averaging just 5.0 points per game, along with 5.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 34.8 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from beyond the arc. While his assists numbers are the highest of his career, his point production is his worst since his rookie season, back when he played mostly as a reserve and averaged just 13.4 minutes per game.
The same goes for his shooting numbers, which are at their worst since he shot 32.7 percent from the field as a rookie. His shooting from beyond the arc, meanwhile, is the worst of his career at 19.5 percent and could pose problems for the team’s spacing, as opposing defenders will continue to leave him open and dare him to shoot if he posts similar percentages.
The three-time champion has never been known for his scoring like his other All-Star teammates in Curry and Thompson, but he usually at least averages in double figures, as he did for four seasons from 2014 until 2018. Even when he didn’t average in double digits in past seasons, the team had Kevin Durant alongside the Splash Brothers, who has since joined the Brooklyn Nets. This season, however, the 30-year-old has scored at least 10 points in just three of the 21 games that he’s played for the Dubs so far.
The Warriors have a 13-12 record, which currently ranks eighth in the Western Conference. But they have lost games by a few points this season, including a two-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks and a five-point defeat to the San Antonio Spurs during their Texas road trip. In a season where a few wins and losses could spell the difference between making the postseason and missing the playoffs entirely, Green’s scoring is much needed for Golden State.
Green’s impact for the Warriors, of course, goes beyond scoring. Aside from leading the team’s assists, remains a vital cog in the team’s defense as a former Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Defensive Team member. Former NBA center and analyst Kendrick Perkins even defended the Michigan State product’s lack of scoring production this season, saying that Green remains the Warriors’ heart and soul and that his impact goes beyond numbers and the box score.
But Perkins also retracted that statement, saying after a lopsided loss to the Phoenix Suns that the team needs more from Green and that there are times when his output does need to show up in the stat sheet. In a season without one of their All-Stars, the Warriors will need all the help that Curry can get, including Green’s scoring, especially as they look to be in the thick of a tight race for the playoffs in the West.