Love him or hate him, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green always makes it a point to play winning basketball. He has anchored the Warriors' defense over the past eight years or so, and he has blossomed into one of the best playmakers of all time — the ultimate complement to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But his impact through the years has diminished gradually, thanks in large part to his atrophying scoring game.
But on Wednesday night in a crucial Game 5 against the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs, Green showed that he hasn't completely forgotten how to put the ball through the hoop. And head coach Steve Kerr loves it.
In fact, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN, Kerr and the rest of the Warriors loved it to the point of calling Draymond Green “Draymond Nowitzki” after he hit an unlikely one-legged fadeaway with the shot-clock winding down and the Dubs clinging to just a one-point lead.
This is not the first time that Green has hit a big, if unlikely, midrange shot at a crucial juncture for the Warriors. In the 2022 NBA Finals, Green hit a tough midrange jumper over the outstretched arms of Boston Celtics big man Robert Williams III. And that was in the middle of a series where plenty of pundits questioned whether Green's lack of offensive production would prove costly to the Warriors' bid of winning a championship.
Green finished the Warriors' 123-116 Game 5 victory over the Kings with 21 points, four rebounds, and seven assists on 8-10 shooting from the field (1-2 from deep) and 4-8 from the foul line, all the while coming off the bench for the second consecutive game.
The Warriors will definitely need Green to be at his best once more as they try to seal the deal in front of their home crowd on Friday night.