Draymond's assists need heat checks in Dubs' win over Nuggets

Warriors' Draymond Green

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shooting a heat check is always going to be encouraged. 

It doesn't matter if you're just past halfcourt or have several defenders' hands in your face. It doesn't even matter if the shot is made or not. 

When you shoot a heat check, you're in a good enough groove that a miss is just a blip on the radar. If you make it, you're as hot as you think. 

But heat checks aren't exclusive to shooting. Passers try it, too. 

"You can definitely find that zone and feel like you can make any pass," Draymond Green said Friday in a video conference with reporters. "Some of those crazy-ass passes you see me make, it's like a heat check. You see a guy coming down and pull up from 35 feet and he checking that thing, I feel that with some of my passes sometimes. I'm trying to heat-check that thing to see if I can get it through a tight gap. But it's fun."

Green had several heat-check passes in the Warriors' 118-97 win over the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center on his way to tying his career-high 19 assists. Those assists occurred alongside 12 rebounds and just two points. 

The Warriors know they have a better chance to win when Green has a big scoring night. But, it's not what they rely on. They'd take his passing over scoring any day of the week.


Friday night was the sixth time this season Green dished out 15 or more assists, and the 19th time with at least 10.

"He gets in a groove like that where he's getting everybody involved and having a Draymond-type night where scoring isn't really the difference-maker," Curry said. "It's the way he does the intangibles and makes everybody better by getting the ball on time and we can finish off plays."

Green credits his passing ability, and more importantly, his desire to facilitate to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. But when it comes to passing, not everything can be taught. A lot of it is an inherent skill. 

Those are the kinds of passes that result in heat checks.

"I didn't know I had a bunch of assists until I had like 14 and I looked up," Green said. "Like I said, just trying to get into the flow of the game and take what the defense gives."

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Curry can relate to what Green is talking about. There have been times when Curry doesn't know how many points he has, but he's aware that he's on a roll. And in those moments, there's no other option to chuck the ball up and see what happens.

In those moments, there's a gut feeling that it's going to work out.

"[The] game slows down and the rim looks huge, the same way if you're at the top of the key or if you're making those decisions with the ball in your hands and get somebody open on-time, on-target passes," Curry said.

"You kind of just see everything a little bit better, a little bit quicker and you execute the angle of the pass, the speed of the pass, the timing of the pass whatever it is. He's a master at it."

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