Warriors

What Warriors need from Draymond, according to Rick Barry

Warriors

You wouldn't think that a guy that has won three NBA championships, earned three trips to the All-Star game, won the Defensive Player of the Year award, made two All-NBA teams and five All-Defensive teams would have much more to prove. 

And yet, Draymond Green finds himself in a position in which many are starting to question what he has left in the tank, and if he can prove to be the dominating force he once was as the Warriors transition into a new era of title hopes. 

Like the Warriors’ record, Green disappointed this season. With Klay Thompson and Steph Curry out, and a surrounding cast of new additions and young players, Green was never able to find his groove. He finished the year playing in just 43 games, with career-lows in field goal percentage, 3 point percentage and rebounding since he became a starter for the team. 

His regular-season 3-point percentage has plummeted over the last half-decade, showing a troubling trend that has led some to believe his offensive upside will never be the same. After shooting a fantastic 38.8 percent from deep in the 2015-16 season, Green has not shot above 30.8 percent from beyond the arc for any individual regular season.

The falloff for Green's shooting splits has led Warriors Hall of Famer Rick Barry to make it clear that he believes Green no longer needs to be a big-time scorer.

"He doesn't need to worry about getting 20 points in a game,” Barry said on the Runnin’ Plays Podcast. “You don't want Draymond Green to score 20 points. If you need Draymond Green to score 20 points for you to win, you're in trouble. You shouldn't need him to do that."

 

The front office hopes to put a roster together of floor spacers and scorers to open up the lane for Draymond, and let him flourish in his most comfortable role.

"I liked him in the role when KD was here," Barry said. "If you got three other guys that can score, when KD came I said 'Draymond Green needs to do this.' He needs to continue to play tough individual defense, good team defense, rebound and facilitate"

While regular-season numbers have been disappointing for Green the last few seasons, the postseason is a different story. Draymond has been tremendous in the playoffs, including as recent as just last year, when he averaged 13.3 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting from the field, along with 10.1 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game. Defensively he was as dominant as ever, averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Despite the excellent production, Green still only shot 23 percent from deep.

However, his playoff stats and resume should be reason enough to be encouraged that Green is not over the hill just yet. It just depends on what the expectation is for him.

 "You know, 10 points, 12 rebounds, good defense, 6 assists, 8 assists, sometimes he gets 10 assists, that's the kind of game you need Draymond to play," Barry explained.

RELATED: Draymond reacts to Jamal Murray's 50-point game

If the Warriors are able to get that type of production from Green, they will be that much closer to being a contender next season. If he somehow can raise his 3-point percentage closer to 33 percent or higher, that would be enough to make teams think twice about leaving him wide open. 

Is he able to do that? We will see. But if you have learned anything about Draymond Green thus far, you know better than to doubt him.

He loves to prove the doubters wrong.