67RIEFNS No. 38: Warriors starters with Draymond Green

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The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

I’ve already expressed my affection for the Warriors starting lineup, but let me offer a slight variation:

Sub in Draymond Green.

With Green in a place of a Golden State starter, the unit essentially becomes a feistier version of the starting lineup.

And when I say in place of a starter, I mean any starter. Whether Green replaced Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry last season, the Warriors performed better last season.

And remember, Golden State’s starting lineup posted offensive AND defensive ratings that would have led the NBA. Here’s the difference Green made:

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Lineup Minutes Offensive rating Defensive rating Net rating
Starters 819 112.4 97 +15.4
Green for Bogut 105 123.4 89.2 +34.2
Green for Lee 71 116.1 100 +16.1
Green for Iguodala 28 134.4 102.6 +31.8
Green for Curry 7 113.3 70.5 +42.8
Green for Thompson 4 126.9 25 +101.9

Obviously, there are huge sample-size issues when Green replaces a guard or even the small forward. I’m certainly not suggesting the Warriors put Green on the perimeter regularly.

But their success in those lineups speaks to Green’s versatility.

He’s a pesky defender, capably guarding a number of positions. He crashes the glass and hits open jumpers, smartly positioning himself to do both. And he’s tough, bringing physicality to a team that needed it before his arrival.

All in all, he’s a great glue guy. That really shines when Golden State plays him with its top players.