How Warriors' idea to play Draymond with second unit came about originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors might have found a solution to their early-season struggles.
After parting ways with several key players who helped Golden State win its fourth title in eight years last season, the Warriors added new pieces in the offseason and left coach Steve Kerr with some important decisions to make as far as lineups and minute allocations.
Kerr and his staff have experimented with different rotations this season -- some have worked and some haven’t.
Longtime assistant coach Bruce Fraser explained the process behind making that decision.
“I think it was a collab. A lot of our ideas are stemmed from meetings and coaches, and mostly Steve makes the calls,” Fraser said on 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” on Tuesday. “We were playing around with different lineups to see what was good and we felt like Draymond being in there with them may help that lineup and it certainly has.
“Anytime Draymond Green is on the floor, honestly, it helps us. He’s having an amazing year too. He is incredible right now.”
It all began Sunday, Nov. 20, in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets.
After the Warriors’ second unit gave up a 13-0 run to the Rockets in the first three minutes of the second quarter and turned a 12-point Golden State lead into a one-point deficit, Kerr knew changes had to be made, and he wasn’t going to wait until the next game to make them.
He turned to Green, someone whose minutes typically come with Steph Curry on the floor, and if you’ve watched the two play together, you understand why. Kerr placed Green with the second unit to start the fourth quarter, and it paid off immensely.
Green’s experience, veteran leadership and collectiveness helped settle the second group down. He also opens the floor up for Poole and DiVincenzo, which has helped the Warriors fill in those gaps and allow others not named Curry to score as well.
The Warriors ended up winning the game, earning their first road win of the season, and have now won eight of their last 11 contests.
In the four games since that Rockets matchup, Green is averaging 11.3 points on 75 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line, along with 5.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.0 blocks.
When the 32-year-old scores at least 10 points in a game, the Warriors win 80 percent of their games since Green entered the league in 2012. When he scores eight, they win 76 percent of their games.
"We need him to be aggressive offensively, I didn't realize he had that kind of impact on our winning," Fraser said. "I just think regardless he’s impactful for us, especially when his body is healthy and his mind is right. And he’s been incredible so he helps us on both sides of the ball.
"He’s one of our leaders. I think his play has maybe been overshadowed by Steph’s play, but those two in particular have been phenomenal. And he in that second lineup has been a critical part of their growth."
It has to be exciting to think that Green nearly has mastered everything else -- the rebounding, the passing, the defense. But when he's aggressive on the offensive end, which he has been lately, the Warriors are almost unbeatable.