For all the talk about Draymond Green and his divisive personality, the Golden State Warriors forward has made a flawless transition to his new role as the fourth fiddle in the team’s super-charged offense.
Head coach Steve Kerr can pinpoint the exact moment when it all clicked for Green. Speaking after the team’s practice on Monday, Kerr looked back to the third game of the season when the Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns, 106-100, on the road.
“It was like just he said, ‘Screw it. I’m just going to go play,’” Kerr recalled. “And then he realized, ‘Oh yeah. When I go play, good things happen.’ And he’s been amazing ever since. The competition, the ball handling, playmaking and rebounding.”
As the Warriors set out on their four-game road swing, which begins Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, Green leads the team in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He’s also produced four double-doubles in the first 10 games.
“There are some games when he scores and some games when he doesn’t,” Kerr said. “What I love about what I’ve seen from him in the early part of the season is that he hasn’t been that concerned when he has a four-point-game. He’s still getting his 10, 11 rebounds, 7 or 8 rebounds, a couple of blocks. So, Draymond’s been fantastic.”
Patrick McCaw continues to draw praise
Warriors general manager Bob Myers has made a habit of unearthing gems in the second round of the NBA draft. Patrick McCaw, who the team grabbed with the No. 38 selection — after buying the pick from the Milwaukee Bucks — looks to be Myers’ latest steal.
“The draft is funny like that,” Steph Curry said. “You get guys like Draymond, Pat, [Kevon] Looney. You get guys that for whatever reason don’t jump off the page.”
What has jumped off the page is McCaw’s ability to read the court and anticipate the game. Kerr has likened the 20-year-old’s basketball IQ to that of the cerebral Andre Iguodala, and Curry offered a similar assessment.
“From Day 1, you could tell that Pat knows how to play the game,” Curry said. “There’s some teaching it, but you have to have an innate understanding of what’s going on on the floor and how you can impact the game. Pat showed that from Day 1 in training camp.”
Often the second guard off the bench after Shaun Livingston, McCaw is right at home in the Warriors’ free-flowing offense and excels on the defensive end while guarding the opposition’s top perimeter player.
“He’s got a very quiet confidence about him,” Curry said. “He doesn’t say much, but he knows he belongs here.”