The Golden State Warriors are at their best when Draymond Green is their emotional fuel. Their defensive leader is also arguably the heart and soul of this NBA dynasty.
Head coach Steve Kerr knows this too, and showered him with praise after an exhilarating 120-109 comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the Chase Center Tuesday night.
“Draymond willed us to victory tonight,” Kerr said according to The Athletic. “That’s what makes Draymond special. It’s not just his amazing basketball IQ and defensive playmaking, but it’s his sheer will. We need his fire.”
The four-time All-Star was revved up all night, perfectly encapsulating the significance of this late-season showdown between two teams fighting for playoff positioning. He got into a bit of a shoving match with Brandon Ingram in the second quarter after Green gave him a shoulder-bump foul while driving to the basket. The infamous trash-talker was given his 17th technical foul of the season.
Steve Kerr spoke to reporter after the game about how Draymond Green willed the Golden State to victory.
“We need his fire.”
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 29, 2023
Green’s wrath was not just reserved for New Orleans, though. He was yelling at his own team throughout the night, with the game seemingly out of their grasp in the third quarter due to a 20-point deficit. Stephen Curry erupted and helped lead Golden State back within four heading into the final frame. Their scorching momentum continued until the final buzzer sounded.
Green truly was the spark this team needed with 13 assists, six rebounds and two steals to go with his usual stalwart defense. It was a vintage Draymond performance with the postseason just around the corner.
The Warriors (40-37), who now jump into sixth place in the Western Conference, have more of a cushion than the eighth-place Pelicans, but they are still desperate to find that next gear. They found it last year.
Perhaps Green just woke up a sleeping giant who no one is prepared to play.
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