Warriors

Draymond digs deep, wills his way to Warriors' win over 76ers

Draymond digs deep, wills his way to Warriors' win over 76ers

OAKLAND -- Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was throwing most everything he had at the 76ers, man after man after man, every available body except Kevon Looney.

And no one worked the necessary miracles except Draymond Green, who spent Tuesday night throwing every bit of himself at the Sixers. He kept coming and coming, minute after relentless minute, until Philly finally folded.

The Warriors prevailed 106-104 because Green made them. The Saginaw, Mich. native found his offense scoring 20 points -- his highest total in three months -- but, moreover, was downright “Sagnasty” in terrorizing the 76ers with his defense.

“He led the charge,” Kerr said. “We really didn’t get after it defensively for most of the game, and then the fourth quarter was fantastic.”

The Warriors, with Green setting the tone, limited Philadelphia to 14 points on 30-percent (6-of-20) shooting in the fourth.

The Warriors had been atrocious on defense, and Green was trying to plug the leaks. After Philly shot 56 percent in the first quarter, Green, during a timeout early in the second, grabbed his teammates by their collective collar, stared into their long faces and dropped a few words on them.

“The realization is, obviously, it’s going to be a dogfight,” Stephen Curry said. “We still get everybody’s best shot. When we’re not making shots, we still need to find a way to do other things to get wins. It’s not always pretty. That was the message.”

The Warriors briefly responded, holding the Sixers to 37.5 percent in the second quarter, but they bounced back to shoot 52.6 percent in third, taking a 12-point lead into the fourth.

That got the full attention of the Warriors. It was in those desperate moments, with the Oracle crowd voicing muted disappointment in the proceedings, that every member of the team responded to Green’s call.

“The fourth quarter, the way Draymond impacted the game . . . he just kind of willed himself to another level,” Curry said. “He was a huge catalyst for us.”

Said Kerr: “Draymond is always the emotional leader, but everybody defensively stepped it up in that fourth.”

Asked about his sermon, Green said he felt it necessary to remind guys that they’ve been “in a little bit of a rut,” and that the only way to get out was to fight through it.

That meant, for the most part, defending as he did. In addition to 20 points and eight assists, Green also posted eight rebounds, six blocks and four steals. The last player to post his stat line was Hakeem Olajuwon on March 3, 1990, against the Warriors.

“You don’t go into a rut and then come out of it and hit 20 threes,” Green said. “It just don’t work like that. You have to grind yourself out, grind your way out of it. Tonight, we did that.

“The end of the third quarter and the fourth quarter, we realized, hey, it’s not going our way. But just put our heads down and go defend and the offense will come. Once we started to defend, everything else started to go our way.”

It was enough to send the 76ers, who led by as much as 16, out of Oakland with a defeat that had Green’s signature.

“He’s just elite defensively,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “And he’s highly competitive.”

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

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AP

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

After getting a rude “Welcome to the NBA” facial from Rockets guard Eric Gordon in his debut Tuesday night, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell stands to get a more legitimate baptism Friday night in New Orleans.

That’s where Pelicans All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be waiting, eager to abuse the new guy.

With starting power forward Draymond Green listed as doubtful with a strained left knee -- MRI test results were negative -- Bell can expect significant minutes when the Warriors and Pelicans meet at Smoothie King Center.

Aware Green’s availability is in question, Bell sees what’s ahead in Davis and Cousins, as they both possess skills that rank among the top five big men.

“I’m definitely excited about that,” Bell said Wednesday. “(They are) some of the best bigs in the league, so I’m definitely excited to get tested against that.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr generally avoids tinkering with his set rotations, in which case David West and JaVale McGee would continue to come off the bench at center. Of the other “bigs” on the roster, Bell is most likely to start if Green is unable.

Bell played 12 minutes in the opener, and they were in slots that typically go to McGee, who never left the bench against Houston. Citing the matchups created by the Rockets’ smallish lineups, Kerr opted for the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Bell over the 7-foot, 270-pound McGee.

That will change Friday, regardless of Green’s status, as both Bell and McGee will be needed against Davis and Cousins, both of whom possess wing spans over 7 feet. Only Bell is suited to play power forward or center, and the staff is coaching him at both positions.

“At the 4, I have to be more of a facilitator, like (Green) is,” Bell said. “Some plays (Kerr) has me doing the same things Draymond does. Sometimes he has me bring the ball up in practice. Calling plays, putting me in positions on the elbows to make the right pass, make the right read.

“When I’m at the 5, I have to be more of an aggressor, a more physical guy on the court, focusing on rebounding and finishing around the rim.”

It’s exceedingly rare for a second-round draft pick to start a game in his first week as an NBA player. The Warriors believe Bell can handle it. So in the case of Green being held out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rookie’s name is called.

 

Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

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USATSI

Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

The Golden State Warriors and Dubnation have been holding their breath a bit awaiting the results of Draymond Green's MRI. 

They can breathe a little better now. 

According to ESPN, the forward underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative. 

Green left Tuesday's game against the Rockets one point shy of a triple double after 28 minutes of work. 

The Warriors were left in a defensive deficit in his absence and ultimatley lost to the Rockets 122-121. 

More to come...