Jamal Crawford thinks Warriors need third scorer without Klay Thompson

Jamal Crawford thinks Warriors need third scorer without Klay Thompson

Jamal Crawford has always had the green light to shoot his shot. 

The NBA free agent is tied for 21st in league history with four 50-point games to his name, and Crawford never has averaged fewer than five field-goal attempts per game in a single season. With that context in mind, how would you read Crawford's tweeted observation from the Warriors' preseason opener Saturday? 

Now Crawford, 39, could be preparing for life off the court by honing his analysis. The Warriors certainly hope Draymond Green can fill the scoring void behind Steph Curry and D'Angelo Russell while Klay Thompson rehabs his torn ACL. Green is working to regain his 3-point shot and return to his 2015-16 heights, but at age 29, he is four years older than he was when he averaged a career-high 14.0 points per game during Golden State's 73-9 season. 

Behind Green, though, there isn't much to inspire confidence as a potential No. 3 scoring option. Rookies Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall are still learning the ins and outs of the NBA, and the same can be said of second-year pro Jacob Evans. Free-agent signee Alec Burks hasn't been a double-digit scorer over a full season since 2015-16, and Kevon Looney hasn't at any point in his four-year NBA career. 

[RELATED: Why Warriors coach says D-Lo can be 'really, really good'] 

If Crawford's observation had an ulterior motive, it's not likely he would be a much better option. He turns 40 in March, and his scoring averages have decreased in each of the last five seasons. Even if Crawford still could be a top option, the Warriors' contract situation all but rules out a reunion with the one-time Golden State guard. 

No matter Crawford's intention, though, who emerges behind Curry and Russell will be worth watching as the Warriors settle into their new reality without Thompson and with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. 

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Who is going to reach the 2020 NBA Finals?

The majority of the basketball world believes the LA Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers will advance from the Western Conference, and either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors will punch the Eastern Conference's ticket.

Is there a "sleeper" in the West who could shock everybody? According to Warriors forward Draymond Green, that team is the Houston Rockets.

"They got Russ (Russell Westbrook), they got James (Harden) -- who obviously can both go for 40 or 50 on any given night," he said on "The Steam Room" podcast. "They got a bunch of shooters and they're going to create proglems for people, because they're playing this switching defense.

"And the first thing that people try to do -- we saw it the other day -- you try to pound the ball inside. You're not just gonna run James Harden over on the post. You're not just gonna run P.J. Tucker over. A lot of teams will make that mistake and Houston can be really sneaky."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

And the Miami Heat are Draymond's sleeper pick in the East.

"They play really hard, they got guys that are tied together," the three-time NBA champion explained. "They got my guy Andre (Iguodala), who we know during the Finals and playoffs is great. The only thing with the Heat is they struggle at times to find consistent scoring.

"But they got a lot of talent, a lot of pieces."

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

Yours truly wouldn't be shocked at all if the Rockets reach the NBA Finals, but would be stunned if the Heat get that far. 

But ultimately, anything can happen when there is no homecourt advantage.

The playoffs are going to be a blast.

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Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Draymond Green last played in an NBA game Feb. 27. And he was on the court only for 10 minutes because he was ejected in the second quarter.

The Warriors forward last played at least 30 minutes in a game on Feb. 12, which was Golden State's final game before the All-Star break.

As you know, the Dubs are not playing in the Orlando bubble. And it's highly unlikely they participate either in a second bubble in Chicago or in a team minicamp at Chase Center.

So what has it been like for Draymond with nothing to do basketball wise?

"Honestly, it's been great," he told Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson on "The Steam Room" podcast. "I've had a lot of fun spending time with my family. I've gotten to know my fiancée better. I've gotten to know my kids better. That's been amazing.

"From a basketball standpoint -- I gotta be honest with you -- I don't necessarily miss playing basketball, because it's been such a long run that my body could use the break.

"But what I miss is competing at the highest level. The playoff basketball, playing in the Finals -- I miss that. Being able to compete at the highest level against the best players in the world."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

You can't blame the three-time NBA champion for wanting an extended breather. From 2015 to 2019, he suited up for 104 of the Warriors' 105 playoff games (he was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals), averaging 37.7 minutes per night.

Draymond has dealt with various ailments over the last couple of years, and needed to refresh his body and mind. He knows the Dubs still are months away from reconvening, and starting the quest to climb back to the top of the mountain.

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

But don't get it twisted. The 30-year-old is extremely motivated to be an All-Star again, and would love nothing more than to capture a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy.

"When you go to the Finals, everybody is watching -- including the best basketball players in the world that (are not) in that game," he said. "That's always the most fun time to me, and I miss that."

If Draymond delivers on his personal goals, the Warriors just might get back to basketball's biggest stage in 2021.

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