Warriors coach Steve Kerr reveals new outlook on playing Draymond Green at center
The Golden State Warriors going small and playing Draymond Green at center was always an ace in the hole in recent years. Green’s ability to effectively play the 5 was a pillar of the Death Lineup, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hesitated to go to that formation unless he really needed to do it.
Now, Kerr is changing his tune a bit. With how the league has so thoroughly embraced small-ball lineups of late, the Warriors coach plans to use Green at center more and more:
“I was always very careful over the last five, six years not to play him too many minutes at center,” Kerr said, via Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “But I think the league has changed pretty dramatically and I can see playing him more at the 5. I don’t think there would be any problem with that. You still have to have a roster that allows you to deal with the big 5s that are out there and we will absolutely address that. But you look from one game to the next, Draymond’s really not going to have too much of a problem guarding the other teams’ 5s. Because the big, huge guys, they’re almost extinct.”
This shift in tactics will also allow Kerr to address another issue with his Warriors team once the Dubs are at full strength. Rookie Eric Paschall has had a tremendous debut campaign, and the 6-foot-6 power forward will also require minutes moving forward in order to properly facilitate his development. Kerr explained:
“I don’t think that’s really a big issue because if Draymond is on the floor, he just guards anybody he wants, because he’s that good,” Kerr said. “And if we decide to play him at the 5 and Eric at the 4, we’re going to have a lot of shooting on the floor next to those guys and playmaking. I think that’s a combination that could work. I think there’s no doubt that Eric is better at the 4 than he is as a 3, He’s more comfortable at that spot. There are ways to fit that into what we’re going to do next year and there are also things we can do to help him get better so he can play the 3.”
We’re still quite a ways away from seeing the Warriors’ new lineup of death, but nonetheless, it’s still hard not to get excited about how this side will look next season.
Golden State should be back in playoff contention with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back together in the lineup, plus there’s the hope that Andrew Wiggins will blossom as a high-level role player next to those two stud guards and Draymond Green.