Green makes Warriors history -- 'It's a hell of an accomplishment'


Green makes Warriors history -- 'It's a hell of an accomplishment'

HOUSTON -- David West limped out of Warriors locker room Thursday night with a sprained left ankle, leaving him questionable for the game against the Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Which puts Draymond Green on alert.

Few guys in the NBA are as good as Green is at sensing what his team needs and finding a way to deliver it. Which is why he is, at age 26, already the Warriors all-time leader in triple-doubles.

His 21st came Thursday night in a 124-114 win over the Rockets. The Warriors were without Kevin Durant, so Green provided 17 points and 14 rebounds. With Stephen Curry spending a fair amount of time at shooting guard, the Warriors needed another playmaker. So Green dropped 10 assists.

Add it all up, and he’s the franchise leader in a category that illustrates versatility. The Warriors are 21-0 when Green posts a triple-double.

“It’s not something I ever thought about or thought would happen, especially not playing much my first two years,” Green said. “It’s kind of crazy. But it’s definitely something to be proud of.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr often cites Green as a player whose varied skills make him a candidate for regular triple-doubles. Still, the power forward needed only three-plus seasons as a starter to surpass previous franchise leader Tom Gola.

“It’s a hell of an accomplishment,” Kerr said. “Tom Gola is a Hall of Famer. It was an amazing night for Draymond. He did everything for us.”

Green played some point guard. Played dash of center and a sprinkle of small forward. And, of course, mostly power forward.

“He’s huge; he’s made a nice living off his uniqueness and what he brings to our team,” Stephen Curry said. “There may be nights where he doesn’t stuff the stat sheets, but he still finds a way to be impactful. And based on the eye test, just watching the game, you can see him all over the place. Like tonight, he played the whole floor game, offensively knocking down shots, rebounding the basketball, finding open guys, playing great defense.”

Green did not start the game particularly well, missing four of his first five shots and committing two turnovers in the first quarter. He pulled it together as the night went on, most notably in the second half, when he basically controlled the game at both ends.

He was minus-1 in 20 first-half minutes, plus-17 in 18 second-half minutes.

“I just settled in and let the game come to me,” he said. “There were some plays in the beginning where I had it but didn’t make the pass quick enough and the gap closed. I settled in and made the easy play, the for sure pass, and stopped trying to make the big play.”

Green stopped trying to force passes in pursuit of the spectacular and began simplifying his game.

It worked well enough that the Warriors, without Durant, were able to come into Toyota Center and put away the Rockets, their chief competitors in the Western Conference.

And if West’s bum ankle keeps him out Saturday, that’s one more void for Green to fill. It might mean more minutes. It might require more toughness.

Check that. Green’s toughness is his most reliable asset. It’s there even on those occasions when little else is working.

Pelicans GM Dell Demps weighs in on DeMarcus Cousins joining Warriors

Pelicans GM Dell Demps weighs in on DeMarcus Cousins joining Warriors

It was 17 months ago when DeMarcus Cousins was traded from Sacramento to New Orleans, the newest member of the Pelicans, bringing unquestioned basketball gifts but burdened by an image that weighed about three tons.

That load is considerably lighter now. The Pelicans were good for Cousins and he was, according to New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, good for them.

“We were having success, and things are good when you’re winning games,” Demps said Wednesday on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “A lot of times, when you’re losing games things become magnified. There’s fuel on the fire.

“I don’t know what happened in Sacramento . . . but I know his time with us, we had success with him. It was a good run.”

Yet when Cousins became a free agent in July, discussions with the Pelicans didn’t advance past the conversation stage. So the 6-foot-11 center reached out to the Warriors and ended up leaving New Orleans.

“I understand,” Cousins, looking back on his time with the Pelicans, said in a Showtime video clip released Wednesday. “They had a big year. They don’t want to ruin it taking a chance on me. I’m a damaged player. Cool.”

In Sacramento for the better part of seven productive years that were by turns trying and turbulent, Cousins’ first full season in New Orleans was arguably the best of his career. He was averaging 25.2 points on 47-percent shooting (35.4 percent from deep), a career-high 12.9 rebounds and a career-high 5.4 assists when he sustained a torn left Achilles’ tendon on Jan 26.

That injury cost Cousins his first appearance in the postseason.

The injury, which can take up to a year to fully heal, occurred in the final seconds of a 115-113 victory over the Rockets that was the seventh win in eight games for New Orleans. Cousins had posted a triple-double: 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

“When he was injured, we were fourth in the West,” Demps said. “It was a sad day. There was a cloud over the city, for a little while.

“But we wish (Cousins) nothing but the best. He’s a good guy, he’s a tough guy, he’s going to compete and he’s an incredible basketball player.

Demps cited Cousins’ relationship with Pelicans star Anthony Davis as being a factor in easing Cousins’ transition to New Orleans. Though Cousins still played with plenty of emotion last season, he averaged one technical foul every 4.8 games, the lowest ratio since 2011-12, his second season with the Kings.

His popularity increased to a level that he received a standing ovation when shown on the scoreboard during Game 3 of the first-round series between the Pelicans and Trail Blazers. That was followed by chants of “Boogie, Boogie, Boogie.”

The Warriors hope that showing can be repeated sometime next season. Cousins likely will miss much of the early season, but hopes to return, healthy and active, before the next calendar year.

As for the concerns about Cousins adversely impacting the Warriors fast-paced style of play -- he’s known to do his best work in the half court -- Demps offered a bit of a rebuttal.

“We played with pace, with DeMarcus,” he said. “When he went out, I think we were sixth in pace. He’ll be fine. Talent has a way of just figuring it out.”

For the record, the Pelicans were indeed sixth in pace. They did, however, speed it up to another level after Cousins went down. They finished No. 1.

DeMarcus Cousins unfazed over potential backlash from joining Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins unfazed over potential backlash from joining Warriors

Do you want to know what the NBA free agency process was like for DeMarcus Cousins?

If yes, you're in luck.

SHOWTIME Sports is in production on a documentary that gives you an inside look at how Cousins ended up signing with the Warriors.

On Wednesday, a preview clip was released (watch the full video below).

"This is my ace of spade, this was my nuclear bomb, my last resort," Cousins said. "Yeah, I could have probably got a contract -- a decent contract -- from a bad team. But how does that help me?

"I'm already fighting a career-ending injury. I'm not gonna put myself in an already-bad situation and try to prove my value or my worth as a player in a situation that's not looking to win.

"I knew how it would be perceived by some. I didn't give a f**k. ... I knew what my ace was, and we made the call."

Cousins' introductory press conference is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. Watch it live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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