Kurtenbach: The Warriors need Draymond Green to step up in Game 3 — but he’ll need some help


Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) warms up before the start of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

HOUSTON — It’s hard to know where to start when conducting the autopsy of the Warriors’ Game 2 loss to the Rockets — there are just so many factors to blame.

You can point to the Warriors’ one-dimensional offense or Stephen Curry’s struggles on both ends of the court.

Oh, you can pin some blame on Klay Thompson, too — he scored eight points and the Rockets shot 10-of-11 when as a primary defender Wednesday.

And you can’t forget to mention David West’s diabolical minutes, or Andre Iguodala’s performance, which was more reminiscent of a perfunctory mid-season game against the Mavericks than a potential series-deciding contest.

But one issue, for sure, was that the Warriors simply did not play with enough energy Wednesday. The Rockets entered Game 2 with a hearty dose of desperation and they funneled that emotion into dynamic play on both sides of the court.

The Warriors played like the series was decided in Game 1. And because of that, we now have a competitive Western Conference Finals.

“When you get in the playoffs with teams that are very talented and really great teams, it often comes down to which one has the edge in terms of the aggression and the desperation. They were desperate tonight and they played like it, and we didn’t. The results showed,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Our defense wasn’t connected. We weren’t on the same page on a lot of plays where we got a little out of sorts.”

This is where Draymond Green comes in.

Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) warms up before the start of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Green is the heartbeat of the Warriors team — he brings an infectious, positive energy to most every game he plays and that, paired with his defensive genius and underrated offensive playmaking skills, drives the Warriors forward. His emotional effect on the team cannot be quantified or, to be honest, fully understood.

Green brought an infectious energy to Game 2, but it wasn’t the positive kind. Green played with a lot of negativity and even some downright pouting on Wednesday and that manifested into turnovers on the offensive side and, as the on-court coordinator of the Warriors’ defense, a team defense that was a hot, point-conceding mess.

If the Warriors want to re-establish full control of this series …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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