Warriors

Klay: Draymond not winning DPOY 'a shock to all of us'

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Klay: Draymond not winning DPOY 'a shock to all of us'

Programming note: Rockets-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND – After a second straight season in which he finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year, Warriors forward Draymond Green expressed neither regret nor bitterness.

His teammates, however, seem to feel different.

“We all think it’s a snub,” Klay Thompson said late Monday morning, three hours after the award was announced, with the winner being Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

“Just because he’s such a big part of our defense, him being able to guard every position. And as our background communicator, him and (center Andrew Bogut), he’s so good at rebounding and leading the break.

“It was a shock to all of us. But what can we do?”

[RELATED: Draymond left off nine Defensive Player of the Year ballots]

Leonard totaled 547 total voting points, including 84 votes for first place. Green, with 421 points, was first on 44 ballots, second on 62 and third on 15. Nine voters omitted Green’s name from their ballots in the 5-3-1 voting system.

“It didn’t play out differently than I expected,” Green said. “I expected one of us to get it. He got it. He’s a great defender.

“It’s not really that big of a deal, like something I didn’t see happening. That’s a very obvious scenario, so I wasn’t necessarily surprised.”

Green added that he thought he had a better chance to win last season.

“I felt more robbed last year,” he said. “Last year, I looked at it like he only played in 60 (actually 64) games. I played in (79). So I felt robbed last year.

“This year, I don’t feel robbed at all. I think it could’ve gone either way. He was deserving, I was deserving. He won. So I don’t feel robbed this year.”

Not only are Green’s teammates ticked off by the selection. His outspoken mother, Mary Babers-Green, also was displeased with the voting.

Asked how she felt about it, Green said: “She hot.”

Leonard is the first non-center to win back-to-back DPOY awards since Dennis Rodman in 1990 and 1991. Miami big man Hassan Whiteside finished third, followed by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Draymond Green returned from an 11-game absence in the Warriors' 116-108 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. According to Golden State's power forward, he could barely contain his excitement.

"I felt like a kid in a candy store the last few days," Green said after the game, "just getting to play again."

Green's prolonged absence was due to a sprained right big toe, a pesky injury for someone who often finds himself battling bigger bodies in the paint. In his first chance to test out that toe in live game action, Green came away no worse for the wear.

"It felt good, really had no issues at all," Green said of his toe. "And afterwards I still feel the same, which is always important."

Based on his stat line in the victory, it appears Green didn't miss a beat. He accounted for seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a block in the win, while reassuming his position as quarterback of the defense. He did have a favorite play in his first game back, but it happened to be on offense.

With the game clock winding down at the end of the first half, Warriors guard Stephen Curry saw Green wide open next to the Timberwolves' basket. He lobbed Green an alley-oop, but rather than finish the play himself, Green made an acrobatic pass to Klay Thompson on the wing, who promptly drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

When asked to explain why he made the pass, Green provided a very honest answer.

"Realistically, I was gassed," Green described during his postgame press conference. "I had no energy to go for the layup and I saw Klay open.

"Steph threw me a lob. There was no way I was catching a lob."

Green is known for his passion on the floor, and his time away from the game and his teammates was admittedly tough on him.

"I was just excited to be back out there," Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke immediately following the victory. "You know, I always want to bring what I bring to this team. That's communication, that's defense, try to push the tempo a little bit and I think, you know, as I get my feet back under me, get my legs back under me, I'll continue to get better at it."

Green certainly didn't look too rusty in his first game back, and if he continues to get better, well, that's bad news for the rest of the league.

As Green departed his postgame interview with Burke, she asked him what he feels building within the team given that the Warriors are getting healthier and currently riding a four-game winning streak.

"A run," Green said with a smirk.

With Green back in tow, what's to stop them?
 

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 116-108 win over Timberwolves

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 116-108 win over Timberwolves

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The Warriors returned to Oracle Arena Monday night after an 11-day road trip and kept things rolling, with a 116-108 win over the Timberwolves.

The Warriors (19-9) extended their current winning streak to four games.

While the return of Draymond Green bolstered the defense, the trio of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 86 points to lead the offense.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' victory before a sellout crowd:

Draymond is back and, wow, he makes an impact

After missing 11 consecutive games with a sprained right big toe, Green was anxious to get back on the court -- and it showed.

He posted a rather typical stat line: seven points, 10 rebounds (a team-high), seven assists and one block. But those numbers don’t convey his overall presence nearly as well as him being plus-11 in 31 minutes.

Green was a ball of energy from the start, spurring the Warriors to a 13-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. Bringing it from both ends, he rarely let up.

The Warriors' defense, which was so solid in their previous game last Friday in Milwaukee, took on an even more feral look with Green leading the attack.

So much for not joining the 3-ball revolution

As the rest of the NBA launches with abandon from beyond the arc, the Warriors have insisted they will maintain their offensive identity, which is to shoot 3-pointers not in volume, but upon opportunity.

There were opportunities on Monday and for the second straight game, the Warriors hoisted with regularity. They were 19-of-43 (44.2 percent) from deep. The 43 attempts were nearly 13 above their average of 30.1 per game. This is the first time this season the Warriors attempted more than 40 3-pointers in back-to-back games.

Curry had 36 points and was 7-of-14 from deep. Durant had 22 points and was 4-of-7.  Thompson also was 4-of-7 and finished with 26 points, as the Warriors outscored Minnesota 57-21 from beyond the arc.

If the Warriors keep this up, they’re going to have some explaining to do.

Cruel third quarter defense took over the game

After the Timberwolves shot 52.2 percent from the field in the first half, the Warriors came out for the second half with a much more aggressive mentality on defense.

The turned up the heat, tightened up their switches and locked up Minnesota, forcing six turnovers -- leading to 11 Warriors points -- and limiting the Timberwolves to 4-of-18  (22.2 percent) shooting in the third quarter.

That was enough to hike their six-point halftime lead (63-57) to 14 (91-77) entering the fourth frame.

The Timberwolves never pulled closer than within eight points in the final quarter.