For the last two seasons, the NBA Playoffs have been a largely ho-hum affair for the Golden State Warriors. The only real moments of concern have come after falling down 3-1 in last year’s series against the Oklahoma City Thunder and losing last year’s Finals to Cleveland.
Other than that, it has been a fairly routine string of domination over the Western Conference. On Thursday though, there was legitimate cause for concern when Draymond Green was laying on the court and didn’t get up immediately.
The forward almost always stays in the lineup and is a lynchpin for everything that the Dubs do defensively. He is a player who can space the floor, move the ball effectively and guard all five positions successfully. There is no one in the NBA exactly like him.
They won the game, but of course questions still remain going forward as he is likely for Game 3 in Salt Lake City tonight. Green is calling the injury a minor tweak and in his normal nature, he told the media that the injury is not going to stop him going forward.
Dray said: “I think I’ll be fine. I was able to catch it before it locked all the way up. So I think I’ll be fine. One time it happened when I was in college, and I outrebounded Michigan a few days later. Their whole team. So that was pretty good.”
People have come to expect that kind of confidence from the former Michigan State Spartan as he has battled adversity his entire career. He was selected 35th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft and didn’t come to prominence until Steve Kerr became the head coach.
Green got his starting role after David Lee was injured to start the season and Golden State’s offence absolutely took off once he became a starter. They went on to claim the championship against Cleveland in 2015 off the strength of this newfound lineup.
In a third straight rematch with LeBron James and his team, they would really need their All-Star power forwards’ defence and attitude to erase the demons of last year’s collapse. For right now, everything looks like it is going to be fine.
They won 67 games this season which is only six games off their league record 73 wins last season. There were some concerns early on about fit between Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, but things have been largely figured out.
Still it looks like the only thing that is going to de-rail a possible third meeting between the two teams is an injury of some kind. The Dubs are going to have to be ready to face that challenge if it comes.