Old rivals Draymond, Griffin face off in Warriors-Pistons


Draymond Green has been known to get in the faces of opponents. He's gotten into a scuffle with a handful of them. 

And when Blake Griffin was on the West Coast, playing six hours south of the Bay Area with the Clippers, he was on the receiving end of Green's antics. 

Griffin is not in Lob City anymore, joining the Pistons in 2018. And the animosity between him and Green definitely has cooled off. But, when Detroit comes to Chase Center on Saturday night, it's that duel between old rivals that will be front and center. 

Now, the matchup isn't taking center stage for the same reasons it used to. It's not because of the snarky remarks or taunts made to one another. It's simply because how well these two play against each other will have a direct impact on how their respective team does. 

Blake Griffin is coming off his best performance of the year, scoring 23 points, shooting 5-of-10 from three and dishing out six assists in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that upset win, the Pistons were 1-5 in their last six games, with Griffin missing two of those contests. He averaged just nine points in the games he played in during that span. 

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The Pistons don't necessarily need Griffin to go off to beat Golden State. The Warriors are not on the same level that Lakers team is right now. Detroit has been getting solid production from Jerami Grant (averaging 23.8 points and 6.2 rebounds) and Derrick Rose (14.6 points, 4.4 assists). So limiting at least one of those three players will give the Warriors a far better chance of getting a win. 


That's where Green comes in. The Warriors' defense vastly improves with Green on the floor, and they will need that Saturday night. But it won't just be important for him to slow Griffin and Grant. He needs to produce on the offensive side as well. 

In the Warriors' last game against the Suns, Greens scored just two points on 1-of-7 shooting. He wasn't the only one who struggled in Phoenix, but now playing a team with two highly talented two-way forwards in Griffin and Grant, it's imperative that Green has a good outing. 

He doesn't need to score in bunches, but he needs to contribute something while continuing his defensive dominance. 

Green has had no issues getting up for this matchup in the past. And while the rivalry between Griffin and Green no longer has much substance, Green needs to play Saturday's game as if it does.