Warriors

Yet again, Draymond suffocates Blake Griffin to the point of visible despair

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AP

Yet again, Draymond suffocates Blake Griffin to the point of visible despair

The debate over which members of the Warriors is most valuable to the team rages on, as it should, and a strong case can be made for all four of their All-Stars.

There is no dispute, however, which Warrior is most valuable whenever they come upon the Los Angeles Clippers.

It’s Draymond Green, because he practically owns the space inside the head of LA star Blake Griffin. And without a very good Griffin the Clippers are a very average NBA team.

The latest example came Monday night, when Green suffocated Griffin to the point of visible despair, allowing the Warriors to run off with a 141-113 victory at Staples Center for their 11th consecutive win over the Clippers.

Since Green took over as the starting power forward, LA is 1-12 against the Warriors, and the formula has been much as it was Monday night at Staples Center.

If Griffin wasn’t dribbling into the teeth of the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and forcing up an awkward shot, he was surrendering the ball to his teammates in what looked suspiciously like a passive form of panic.

We’ve seen it before when Griffin meets Green, even if Clippers coach Doc Rivers missed it Monday night.

“I thought he was aggressive,” Rivers said of Griffin after the game. “I just thought they attacked him. They doubled. I thought our spacing was poor. I didn’t think we helped Blake a lot with our spacing.”

There was some doubling, yes, but more often than not Griffin found himself caught the single vise between Green’s thumb and forefinger.

The man who was generating early MVP talk when LA opened the season with four consecutive wins took a season-low 10 shots, finishing with a season-low 16 points and a season-low three rebounds.

Furthermore, Griffin committed a season-high four turnovers and was whistled for a season-high four fouls. He was minus-23 for the game.

It was a mess of a game for Griffin, and typical of his play against Green. Even Rivers eventually came around to the obvious, without mentioning names.

“If you don’t trust your offense and move the ball, you become stagnant,” he said. “And that’s when their offense takes off, because you get frustrated on your end.”

That was Griffin on Monday. Stagnant. Frustrated. A different guy than he has been through the first five games. It happens every time he faces the Warriors, which means facing Green.

Green, by contrast, had a strong game at both ends: 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block. He was plus-18.

More important, the Warriors once again routed the Clippers. Not much will change unless Griffin finds a way to get Green out of his head.

The time Bob Myers questioned Mark Jackson's decision: 'I was wrong'

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The time Bob Myers questioned Mark Jackson's decision: 'I was wrong'

Remember when Mark Jackson was the head coach of the Warriors?

During a recent conversation with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Warriors GM Bob Myers shared the following story:

"I made a mistake with Mark one time -- after a game we lost, I went up to him right after we lost and asked him -- I think Curry had been having a big game and he ran a play for Carl Landry to take a shot to win the game; and it was a good play and it was a good shot.

"And I went up to Mark and I went, 'Did you think about Curry?' And he looked at me, and you could tell he was kind of containing himself, and he said, 'It was a good play. It was a good play.' And I look at him and I thought, 'I will never do that again.' If I don't trust the decisions the coach makes, then he's not the right coach.

"The coach gets to decide, right? I learned that lesson with Mark that I was completely out of line in asking him. And I apologized, and I'll never forget that lesson that I learned for myself ... I was wrong. And I learned that. So you learn more from mistakes sometimes. I don't do the debriefing with my coach after the game. Win or lose."

The Warriors fired Jackson a couple days after dropping Game 7 to the Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs.

Myers was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2015 and 2017.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

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Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

On Saturday night in Philadelphia, the 76ers led the Warriors by 24 points early in the third quarter.

With about five minutes left in the game, Golden State led the game 115-97.

It was an incredible turn of events.

On Monday morning, Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown was asked about the 76ers during a radio appearance on KNBR 680.

"They're gonna be good. Right now, they're just kind of finding their way," Brown said. "The thing that I think our guys really like most about that group is -- they don't back down from anybody. They're confident in their abilities, they're confident in their team and they kind of let you know it.

"They talk about it during the course of a game. Our most vocal guy, Draymond, is like that and usually when Draymond shows respect to guys, the rest of our team follows."

Said Steph Curry: "They're on the right path. Waiting on Markelle to get back, and put all the puzzle pieces together but I'm sure they're ready to turn the page from building to actually cementing their idenity and how they're gonna be. I'm pretty sure they're close. They play an exciting brand of basketball. In the first half they showed if you're not ready to play, they can come out and do some amazing things."

[RELATED: Joel Embiid 'likes' Kevin Durant's postgame comments]

Kevin Durant on Ben Simmons: "Something I've never seen before as really playing the point guard at that height and that speed and that strength. You can tell he's an Aussie, too, because he doesn't mind getting into some scuffles or showing his little fiesty side. That's gonna mean well for the Sixers down the line ... all the amazing pieces that they have here ... they're gonna be a load coming up this year, next year, year after that."

Also -- Joel Embiid is hilarious and the world is a better place because of him.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller