The Golden State Warriors have started the 2020-21 season at 1-2, with both of their losses coming in blowout fashion to the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Dubs almost began the campaign at 0-3, but Damion Lee hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday to propel Golden State to a one-point win on the road.
The Detroit Pistons will be the Warriors’ next matchup on Tuesday. Stephen Curry and Co. should be able to win that game and get back to .500 since the Pistons are one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Warriors All-Star power forward Draymond Green won’t play against the Pistons. The former Defensive Player of the Year is still recovering from a right foot injury. However, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr did provide some optimism regarding Green after Monday’s practice.
Draymond Green is the heart and soul of the Warriors
Since getting drafted by the Warriors in the 2012 Draft, Draymond Green has established himself as one of the most versatile players in the NBA. The three-time All-Star has career averages of 9.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.
Green is a three-time champion and will go down as one of the best players in Warriors franchise history. He won the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year Award and is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the Warriors. The energy and affection Green plays with is contagious, and it’s a big reason why Golden State has won three championships with him in the fold.
Many believe the Warriors wouldn’t have blown a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 Finals had Green not been suspended for Game 5. When the Michigan native isn’t on the floor, the Warriors aren’t lethal on offense or defense.
Warriors have the worst defense in the NBA without Draymond Green
Through the first three games of the 2020-21 season, the Warriors are giving up 130.3 points a night. They have the worst defense in the NBA, and Draymond Green’s absence from the lineup is the main reason why.
Green’s voice is the loudest on the Warriors. He’s always calling out screens and switches and directing players where to be. Without their anchor on defense, the Warriors are giving up points left and right. Golden State is thrilled Damion Lee won them the game on Sunday against the Bulls, but it’s not a good sign that the team gave up 128 points to a lowly Chicago offense.
The Warriors were expected to lose to the Nets and Bucks. However, Green’s presence in the lineup would have prevented the Dubs from getting blown out in each contest. Stats can’t measure his value to the team. Green’s leadership in the huddle is a huge morale boost for the group, especially for Stephen Curry, who can lean on his pal to help guide this young Warriors squad playing another season without star shooting guard Klay Thompson.
After the Pistons game, the Warriors will face the Portland Trail Blazers to open 2021. While nothing is set in stone, Golden State may get Green back for that game.
Steve Kerr is optimistic Draymond Green will make his season debut vs. the Blazers
The Warriors are optimistic that Draymond Green can make his season debut against Damian Lillard and the Blazers. That would be a huge turn of events for Steve Kerr’s group.
Without Klay Thompson, the Warriors will only make the playoffs this season if Curry and Green play at a high level every night. Since the Western Conference is so stacked, Golden State can’t afford to fall too far back in the postseason standings.
With that being said, Warriors fans are anxious to see Green back on the floor with Curry.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.