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The only way Draymond Green’s shooting slump matters

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We have that and more in Wednesday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers blasted the Warriors in front of the whole world on Tuesday, despite LeBron James missing part of the game with a groin strain. Draymond Green had a pretty rough game amid a rough offensive season, so this Golden State has given rise to some conversation about Green’s drooping impact and its effect on the Warriors’ bottom line.

It’s true that Green has had an awful shooting season. He’s shooting just 22 percent from deep this season, his worst mark since his rookie season. He’s actually only ever had one good shooting season — 38 percent in the 73-win season — but this is especially bad. His overall shot frequency and free throw rate are in the tank. His assist rate remains high -- he leads the team in assists per game by a decent margin for a power forward -- but his turnovers are up this year.

You know what effect all this lackluster offense from Draymond Green has had on the Warriors? A rather limited amount. It means opponents can drop off and throw more bodies and attention at Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, but Golden State is still No. 1 in the NBA in offensive efficiency. The Warriors are No. 1 in effective field goal percentage and True Shooting percentage, too. Offense isn’t the problem here. The defense has fallen off — the Warriors are No. 13 in defensive efficiency as of Wednesday.

Here’s the rub: according to on-off stats at, no Warrior has a better impact on the team’s defense than Green. The Warriors’ defense when Green is on the floor gives up 102.5 points per 100 possessions, best on the team. When he’s off the floor — as he was for quite a while when dealing with injury — the Warriors have a defensive efficiency of 110.7. (Green’s offensive on-off numbers are 110 on, 112 off. Not a huge difference.)

The Warriors’ offense can survive at the top with Green heaving bricks and shooting infrequently. The Warriors’ defense cannot apparently survive Green sitting on the bench. Therefore, the biggest way Green’s shooting slump can impact the Warriors is if it leads Steve Kerr to play Green fewer minutes, thus taking his much-needed defense away.


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