Kurtenbach: Life without Draymond Green looks bleak for the Warriors

Kurtenbach: Life without Draymond Green looks bleak for the Warriors

Draymond Green has declared the “writing’s on the wall” in regard to his Warriors’ future.

Green’s reading is that he is not wanted in Golden State. He’ll decline his player option at the end of the season and play elsewhere next campaign and beyond.

But the story on the hardwood floor tells a different story.

It says that the Warriors are as dependent on Green as ever.

So if the Dubs’ front office wants to make a move before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, it should extend Green’s contract.

(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

One game isn’t a trend, but Green was desperately missed Thursday night, when the Warriors were blown out by a Denver Nuggets team that sits atop the Western Conference standings.

Playing the second end of a back-to-back at altitude seems like a cruel joke from the NBA schedule-making algorithm — fatigue was no doubt a factor — but the absence of Green was glaring on both sides of the floor as Denver started to run away with the game in the latter moments of the third quarter.

Defense was optional from the jump of the game for the Dubs. With Green sidelined before tip-off with right calf tightness, Golden State allowed 70 first-half points and was outscored by 13 in the second quarter.

That third-quarter collapse came at the hands of a 16-0 Denver run where every Warriors’ offensive possession seemed to be a turnover and every defensive possession a good (made) look for the Nuggets.

The inclusion of Green might not have won the game for the Warriors, but forgive me for thinking the team’s defensive ace and point guard could have been helpful under such circumstances.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss he believes Green’s calf tightness is “something minor.” Last year, Green’s calf injury turned into a serious back injury that kept him sidelined for 30 games between January and March.

So Kerr better be right. The Warriors are only a passable defensive team with Green. Without him, they are abysmal.

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green #23 laughs in the second quarter of their NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
(Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)


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