Draymond Green scored 17 points in Game 1 of the Warriors' first-round NBA playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers.
It should come as no surprise that Green is playing better now that the playoffs are here. After all, he did drop 23 pounds just for the occasion.
Yes, you read that right.
With Green struggling mightily through the first half of the season, Warriors general manager Bob Myers went to the forward after the All-Star break to suggest he try and slim down.
“Draymond,” Myers said then, via The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. “I’mma tell you something you may not want to hear.”
Green was ready.
“All right. I’m listening,” Green said.
“If we’re going to win a championship,” Myers said, “you’ve got to get in shape.”
While Myers prepared for his mercurial forward to explode, Green knew that's what he had to do. In fact, he already had a plan in place.
"Yeah, I start this strenuous regimen on March 6,” Green said. “It’ll take me like two weeks, maybe like 10 days, to really get to where I need to be.”
It worked as Green dropped 23 pounds over six weeks thanks to a strict diet and intense strength training regimen. He has seen his game rise as a result.
Over the final 17 regular-season games, Green held opponents to 37.2 percent shooting and has ramped it up in the playoffs, holding the Clippers to 36.6 percent when he's the primary defender.
Also of importance is Green's overall health. The forward battled knee, ankle and toe injuries throughout the early part of the season, but he finally is healthy and in peak shape.
Of course, Green's improved play is even more paramount after DeMarcus Cousins' injury in Game 2.
With the center expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs, Green's presence on both ends of the floor will be all the more important if the Warriors are to win their third straight NBA title.