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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Draymond Green Crucial to Warriors’ Title Hopes

  • The 47-22 Warriors are 18-16 without Green this year.
  • In his return, he finished with a team-high plus-24 and ranks first among starters for defensive rating.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula

Before this season, Draymond Green had never missed more than 11 consecutive games.

On Monday, he returned from a 29-game absence — and immediately showed why he’s the key to a championship.

In only 20 minutes, Green was a team-high plus-24 in the Warriors’ double-digit win over the Wizards — but more importantly, Steph Curry dropped 47 points, the most he’s scored since November. 

The point-forward is not only crucial in orchestrating Golden State’s offense, but in freeing up its best shooter.

  • The 47-22 Warriors are 18-16 without Green this year; 56-50 through his 10-year career.
  • His 101.5 defensive rating is the best in the NBA among all starters.
  • GS ranked first in OPP PPG (100.9) before the injury; without Green, it ranked 12th (110.2).
  • Curry went from 26.8 PPG and 5.0 3PM to 23.6 PPG and 3.6 3PM in Green’s absence.

Draymond is earning $24 million this season in the second year of a four-year, $99.6 million contract. During his time off, he stayed busy, inking a multiyear deal to contribute to TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio show.

Anything short of a championship is a disappointment for the highest payroll in the NBA ($178.9M), and Green declared postgame that his Warriors are going to win it (+450*). 

That will only happen if he’s on the court.

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