The Golden State Warriors managed to claim their first win of the 2023 NBA Playoffs in Game 3 of their quarterfinals series against the Sacramento Kings, and, what’s more impressive, is that they did so without their heart-and-soul big man Draymond Green in the rotation.
Due to a controversial incident between him and Kings star Domantas Sabonis during Game 2, the former Defensive Player of the Year was issued a one-game suspension.
Despite the pivotal absence, head coach Steve Kerr discussed his team’s mentality heading into Game 3 and noted that, even with the hardship, the Warriors were well prepared to weather the proverbial storm.
“Our guys were locked in yesterday when the news came in and we turned the page pretty quickly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s no need to belabor the point. It’s just the league made the decision. You only have one path to take, and that’s getting ready for the next one, and that’s what our guys did.”
As has been the case throughout his career in Golden State, Draymond Green has been a key contributor to the team’s successes throughout the 2022-23 campaign. Through 73 games played, the four-time All-Star found himself sporting impressive all-around averages of 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and just shy of a block while shooting 52.7% from the field.
While some may have questioned the decision by the league to suspend the power forward for his actions, as many have argued that his leg motion upon Sabonis’ torso was involuntary, considering his history the benefit of the doubt was not given to him.
Luckily, as Steve Kerr noted, the Warriors still remained “locked in” in the absence of Draymond Green and, in turn, won their first game of the series.
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