The Warriors announced prior to the contest that they assigned Podziemski and Jackson-Davis to their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz. Steve Kerr previously hinted that they could spend time in the G League in order to get consistent practice and game time.
Without them, Green felt as though their energy was lacking.
Stephen Curry led the way with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors pulled out the win, 141-139, to start the in-season tournament. Jonathan Kuminga scored 19 points off the bench, Klay Thompson had 18 points and Green added 15 points.
“The energy that they bring to this team, we missed that,” Green said. “Next time we have an in-season tournament game, we need those guys here because they bring a lot of juice for us. You always talk about young guys bringing energy, and that’s their job. We don’t have to tell those guys to bring energy; they do it every single day. I wasn’t overly shocked that our energy wasn’t there because they are the guys that lift our energy level, and they weren’t here.”
Draymond Green saying Trayce Jackson-Davis, Brandin Podziemski & Lester Quinones energy was missed vs OKC and wants them around for the next Tournament game
— Alex 👋 (@Dubs408) November 4, 2023
The two first-year players have three appearances between them this season, but they played a key role in helping the Warriors defeat New Orleans on Monday.
Down Thompson and Kuminga, Kerr called upon them with the team short-handed. Jackson-Davis responded with 13 points and nine rebounds and Podziemski added five points, eight rebounds and two assists in the 130-102 victory.
They found out that morning that they’d likely log significant playing time with Thompson and Kuminga out of the lineup. They impressed the team throughout training camp and were ready when their numbers were called.
Podziemski and Jackson-Davis will likely continue to stay in the G League with Santa Cruz currently holding training camp ahead of its season opener on Friday. But Green is hopeful they will be recalled before their next in-season tournament game on Nov. 14.
“We need them here,” Green said. “They’re a big part of the fabric of this team. We missed them tonight.”