Warriors

Why Steph believes Draymond can return to his best this season

Warriors

Steph Curry isn't doubting Draymond Green after last season.

The former suited up for just five games last season thanks to a broken left hand, and the latter struggled in his and Klay Thompson's (torn ACL rehab) extended absences. Green shot worse from the field (38.9 percent) and behind the 3-point line (27.9 percent) than any year in his career aside from his rookie season, and the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year posted the worst defensive rating (110, per Basketball-Reference) of his NBA career, to boot.

Yet after all the injuries and -- as Curry put it -- "interesting lineups" the Warriors experienced last season, the two-time MVP believes Green can easily put his 2019-20 struggles behind him.

"[Draymond] has been counted out before he even stepped foot on the court on the NBA level, has always found a way to figure it out and always found a way to be impactful at the highest level ... and have an impact winning games," Curry told 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" on Wednesday.

"I have the utmost confidence in the way that he's kind of been talking with me personally, and understanding what we have [left to accomplish] together and I think it's about, just for him, getting out there on the floor and doing it. We can talk all we want to, but we've gotta get out there, and do it and show [people]."

Green has not yet practiced with the Warriors during training camp, and neither has No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman. They were absent after general manager and president of basketball operations Bob Myers announced at the beginning of the month that two players had tested positive for the coronavirus.

 
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The Warriors aspire to have a top-10 defense this season, and Green will need to be at his best in order for that to happen. He'll be well-rested once he does take the floor with his teammates, having not played in a game since March 10, a day before the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Green's tires have plenty of wear after appearing in five straight NBA Finals -- and playing in the 2016 Olympics -- in the five seasons preceding the last one, and the 30-year-old stands to benefit as much as anyone on the roster from the long layoff.

He'll face plenty of doubters throughout the abbreviated 72-game season that his best days are behind him. Just don't count Curry among them.

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