OAKLAND — Draymond Green is used to playing with pain.
Earlier this season, he suffered a left ankle sprain thanks to stepping on DeMarcus Cousins’ foot. He’s had a sprained right toe that cost him almost a month. Last year, he had lingering right shoulder issues, a swollen right elbow and a pelvic contusion.
So, when his right wrist started barking, Green kept playing with it. Even after he took a “pretty good whack” on it in Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, he refused to sit. It certainly won’t keep him from playing in Game 5, and potentially closing out the series on Wednesday night.
“The beginning of Game 3, I got a pretty good whack on it that kind of pissed it off a little […] a lot,” Green said on Wednesday morning after shootaround, ahead of Game 5. “It’s been bothering me a lot ever since. It’s all good.”
Green, who was seen wearing a wrist splint after Game 4, had an MRI done, and it came back clean.
“It’s still sore. It is what it is,” Green said. “If the MRI said it was broken, by the way, I was still going to play, whatever it was anyway. It didn’t even matter.”
Green has averaged 34.6 minutes per game so far this series, shooting 44% from the floor, but just 20.8% from three.
“I’m on the floor, so I’m not one to really talk about when something’s effecting me,” Green said. “If you’re out there, you’re out there.”
Green has been lighter on his feet — literally — since dedicating himself to getting in better shape midseason. As reported by Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Green was approached about his weight by general manager Bob Myers after the All-Star break, but he had already decided to commit himself to getting leaner. With a self-imposed deadline of March 6, he had a nutritionist plan his diet, a chef prepare his meals and intensified his workouts to up his conditioning. He also stayed away from alcohol, fried foods and unhealthy snacks. The result was an 18-pound drop.
A lighter, more nimble Green, even playing with pain, has been a major benefit on defense and on the glass. He’s a plus-13.5 in his four postseason games this year — a career high, surpassing his plus-13.4 in the 2016-17 playoffs.
His 7.8 assists per game are the second-highest in his playoff career. His 6.5 rebounds are his lowest postseason average since 2012-13, but his 1.8 blocks per game tie a career playoff high.
“I think I’ve been playing for so long, you kind of get used to [pain],” Green said. “You’re never 100 percent. You learn to play through pain, especially going through an 82-game season. You definitely learn to play through pain. Once you’re out there, just play. I’m not out there thinking about, ‘Man, this hurts,’ or ‘That hurts.’ Just play the game.”