Draymond Green is putting up some of the best assist numbers in the NBA so far this season, but has his dwindling shooting percentage been a problem for the Warriors' offense?
Longtime Warrior and Hall of Fame inductee Rick Barry believes so, and explained to 95.7 The Game on Thursday morning why he believes Draymond has been hurting the Warriors on that end of the court.
"The problem is, is that Draymond is not playing well right now," Barry said on "The Morning Roast." "It's not a good thing, I mean if you look at his stats from two seasons ago, he's going down in every category, his minutes obviously are down, his shooting percentage is down from 2's, his shooting percentage is down from 3's, his shooting percentage is down from the free-throw line, so he just needs to get back to playing at the level that he played before.
"I mean they really do need him, right now he's become a liability, even in that game, I mean nobody guards him, they force him off to the 3-point line and they walk off and he's shooting 20-something percent from 3's, I mean why would you guard him out there, and that cuts down on his effectiveness, he needs to be able to knock down some of those 3's, if you look back a number of seasons ago, he was shooting 40 percent from 3's a lot of times.
"So right now he's in a bit of a funk and hopefully he can get himself back to where he was a couple of seasons ago, but right now he's not helping it."
Green never has been a 40 percent shooter from 3-point range in his NBA career, at least not for a full season, but Barry makes a fair point about Draymond's shooting numbers.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old is shooting 37.2 percent from the field this season, the lowest mark of his career since his first NBA season, when he made just 32.7 percent of his attempts. Green's 22.2 percent mark from downtown also is the lowest it has been since his rookie year.
Green's 71.1 percent mark from the free-throw line almost exactly aligns with his career percentage at the line entering this season (71.0).
While he has become much less of a scoring threat in 2020-21 than we have seen in past years, Green is racking up assists with the best distributors in the NBA. Green ranks sixth in the NBA with an average of 8.4 assists a game.
Klay Thompson's absence from the court over the past two seasons has magnified Green's scoring numbers, as he hasn't recorded double figures in scoring for a season since 2017-18.
Steph Curry's breakout numbers this season haven't led to much progress in the win column for the Warriors, which also has led some, including Barry it appears, to point the finger at Draymond.
Other issues including inconsistency from the rest of the supporting cast and questionable adjustments (or lack thereof) from coach Steve Kerr have played a factor in the Warriors' inability to climb more than a game or two above .500.
Kerr spoke after Wednesday night's win over the Indiana Pacers about not needing Draymond to score "in general," but that him adding a few buckets doesn't hurt on a night where the Warriors only connected on five 3-pointers.
There is blame to go around, and Draymond likely would be the first to tell you that he hasn't been as productive as he would have hoped this season, but his defensive intensity has the Warriors playing the best defense in the league over the last 15 games.
Being a more consistent shooter from three might help the Warriors' offense, but there's not much Draymond can do about that midseason outside of simply make a higher percentage. He's never inspired much fear in opponents with his outside shooting, even in his most successful seasons from downtown.
"Liability" might be a stretch in regards to Green, but Barry is a Hall of Famer and six-time All-NBA selection, so his basketball acumen certainly qualifies him to analyze the game better than most.