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.