The Warriors have struggled to find their offense against the Cavaliers to this point of the NBA Finals, and the relative disappearance of Draymond Green has been a big reason why.
During the regular season, Green was a reliable safety valve that Golden State could count on to relieve the pressure from its shooters. Green could consistently convert shots inside and out, including from three-point distance.
He’s been dreadful in this series, however, and an ongoing back issue may be to blame for his recent round of troubles.
Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Steve Kerr said Draymond Green has back spasms but should be able to play Game 4. He’s getting treatment right now.
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude of CSN:
Draymond Green shared w/ me his back “is locked up at all times- pain w/ explosion, jumping & contact”. Hurt it Game 2, 3rd qtr after fall.
Green is shooting just 4-of-17 from the field over the last two games, both of which were Warriors losses. He’s also 1-of-5 from three-point distance over the same span, but more importantly, he’s not even looking for the ball behind the three-point line as he has all season long, which contributed to a critical late-game turnover as Stephen Curry threw the ball to where Green was supposed to be.
With the way the Cavaliers have tenaciously defended over these first three games, the Warriors need to find additional sources of offense. It’s why you saw much less Harrison Barnes in Game 3, and why David Lee finally found his way off of the end of the bench to score 11 points in just over 13 minutes.
But Green is there for his defense first, and since the Warriors can’t afford too much slippage on that end of the floor as they look for new ways to get the offense on track, if he’s healthy enough to go in Game 4, expect Green to play something resembling his normal allotment of minutes.