Whenever the Golden State Warriors take two steps forward this season, it seems like they always take another step back. The defending champs felt primed to go on a big run up the standings coming out of the All-Star break. They had won five games in a row, and were preparing to get Stephen Curry back. Curry returned to the lineup on Sunday against the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers, but the Warriors blew the game in the fourth quarter. On Tuesday, the Warriors suffered their second straight loss by falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 137-128.
Oklahoma City gashed the Warriors from the opening tip, and it clearly frustrated veteran star Draymond Green. During one possession late in the second quarter, Green called for the ball in the middle the floor, didn’t get it, and responded by throwing a temper tantrum on the floor. OKC had a fastbreak the other way. Watch the clip here:
A frustrated Draymond appears to give up on the play which resulted in a turnover … pic.twitter.com/uemOduLvG6— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 8, 2023
Green flashed to the middle of the paint and called for the pass from Jordan Poole — and he should have gotten it. Instead, Poole reset the offense by kicking it out to Klay Thompson. Thompson did pass to Green, but by that time Green had already turned around and thrown his hands up in disgust. That led to a turnover and a transition opportunity for the Thunder.
Here’s what Steve Kerr said about the play after the game:
Steve Kerr called the Warriors disconnected when asked about Draymond giving up on a play in the first half pic.twitter.com/HOFBtAmsw4— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 8, 2023
Draymond and Poole have a history, of course. This season started with Green punching Poole in the face during a training camp practice. Poole received a long-term extension before the season, and Green didn’t (he has a player option with Golden State for next season), and it sure seems like there’s been some animosity between the two this season that goes beyond the Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry.
People on Twitter were wondering what Draymond was doing during the play:
Draymond actually just threw a temper tantrum in the middle of the play, there's no way I just saw that— Denver (@doubledworth) March 8, 2023
The thing is Draymond is right lol Poole passes that ball he has a dude open on the wing or at the rim but how you act like a 5 yo in the middle of the game aint you the leader?— Shohei Ohtani Stan Account (@AndyKHLiu) March 8, 2023
Draymond just quit on the play because Poole didn’t pass him the ball.— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) March 8, 2023
The Warriors are currently No. 6 in the Western Conference standings, safe from the play-in tournament by a half-game over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Everyone knows what the Warriors are capable of in the playoffs, but the team just never found its stride this season. It’s quickly running out of time.
The Warriors need to get healthy and stay healthy if they want to go on another deep run in the playoffs, and that starts with Curry and Andrew Wiggins. The next part of it is Green getting back to being the leader and two-way force Golden State needs him to be. The latter has been a work in progress all season.