Wednesday, February 28

Myers on Draymond: ‘I like that he owned’ recent struggles


Draymond Green hasn’t quite been himself since returning to the court for the Warriors, but he isn’t making any excuses. 

The veteran’s recent accountability impressed general manager Bob Myers, who said Wednesday on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors Pregame Live show that Green could have very easily pointed the finger somewhere else.

“I like that he owned what’s going on with him. It’s very easy in team sports … to blame a lot of other people, to blame your teammates, to blame your coach, blame your body — it’s pretty simple, there’s a lot of excuses to grab,” Myers said. “I like the fact that he said, ‘I have to play better.’ We all need to do that, right? That’s the best way to move forward when you’re having some adversity is to say, ‘Well what’s my part in this?’”

Green missed two months of the season with a lower-back injury before making his return on March 14. It was widely believed that the three-time NBA Finals champion’s presence would provide a much-needed spark for the Warriors, but that hasn’t been the case — and Green told reporters following their March 27 loss to the Washington Wizards that he not only felt “terrible,” but that the team was worse with him on the court. 

Myers likened Green’s recent statement to an old saying: “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.”

 

“So when things are bad, it’s like, ‘Well it wasn’t me! It wasn’t me! It was that guy!’” Myers said. “But when things are good, it’s like, ‘It was because of me! It was because of me!’ So I love the idea that he publicly said, ‘I gotta play better.’”

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So how does Green do that?

Through the six games he’s played since his return, the 32-year-old power forward is averaging 23.2 minutes, 4.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. 

The key to Green’s resurgence, Myers said, is simple: He needs to play more. 

“He hasn’t played in a while, hasn’t had a rhythm,” Myers said. 

Not only has Green missed significant time this season, but he has returned to a Warriors team that looks much different than when he left it. Steph Curry went down with a foot injury shortly after Green’s return, and the team has won just one game since. Green is getting used to playing with Klay Thompson once again as well, who returned this season after being out for 941 days following ACL and Achilles injuries.

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‘He’s adjusting to life without Steph for now. He’s very familiar — those two, their continuity, their rhythm has been born and bred over 10 years, and so that’s kind of his running mate. And to not have him, now he’s got to adjust to Jordan Poole and the pick and roll or playing with [Jonathan] Kuminga more or even Klay. He hasn’t played with Klay in however many years,” Myers said. “He needs to play, preferably with our whole team, but we don’t have that right now, so that means getting comfortable, getting his wind, getting his legs. He’s close to being off the minute restriction now or off of it, so that’s a big step too.”

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The Warriors are hoping that success will come with more playing time for Green, who started against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. With a little over a week left in the regular season, the Warriors are certainly hoping he will return to form before the playoffs.

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