Dray has embraced a “major” second unit role with goals in mind that originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As the Warriors attempt to find a second unit formula that works, it seems they have finally found a solution to those minutes where Steph Curry isn’t on the floor.
And his name is Draymond Green.
The veteran forward, who typically plays the majority of his minutes alongside Curry, has helped the second unit stabilize in the last two games he’s played, and that’s a role he’s embracing with several goals in mind.
“I think that’s very important, because it’s not so much the point total that was lost. It’s the energy that was lost,” Green told reporters following the Warriors’ 124-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at Chase Center. “And then you try to recover from that, and sometimes it’s impossible to get through, you know?
The defending champion Warriors began the 2022-23 NBA season with a 9-10 record and are currently No. 11 in the Western Conference.
Golden State’s first and only road win of the season came against the Houston Rockets on Sunday and saw head coach Steve Kerr insert Green into the second unit. In the Warriors’ win over the Clippers, Green once again anchored a second unit that also included Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Lamb.
Explosive victory ensued and the second unit’s new energy was palpable.
Green explained that he’s working on boosting the second unit in two ways.
“Number one is trying to slow down the drive,” Green said. “That unit shouldn’t be playing as fast as the first unit. It should be more methodical. It should be more sets. It should be more patterned movement versus random movement and random offense.
“…And then, number two, and most importantly, is making sure the unit is defending, because as a second unit, your job is not to go out there and build the lead. Your job is to maintain the lead, and whenever the first unit failed to create an lead, then your job is to slow down and fix the game.”
Green said he’s trying to help the second unit play as much “error-free basketball” as possible, and his teammate Kevon Looney is seeing the fruits of those efforts on the field.
“I’d say a lot of driving,” Looney said Wednesday of what Green brings to second unit. “…Put the boys in the right place, have another coach on the field, point guard on the field, who can orchestrate the offense, and when things get stalled, he knows how to get the boys going, he knows where to find the boys in their posts, and is also an anchor in defense for them guys.
“I think he’s a great piece for them when things get a little stagnant, or the ball gets stuck, or the guys don’t know what to run. He’s a coach out there on the pitch.”
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As the Warriors look to get their season back on track, it looks like they’re, well, on the right track.
And with a leader like Green in the room coaching the second unit, those early problems certainly seem to be on the way.
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