OAKLAND -- Draymond Green spared no one, including himself, in a searing dissection of the collapse Friday night that resulted in the Warriors eating a 128-119 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
From coach Steve Kerr to reigning MVP Stephen Curry to two-time All-Star Klay Thompson to seven-time All-Star Kevin Durant to Green himself, words were not minced.
“If you look at the fourth quarter, Klay is standing,” Green began. “It’s not Klay’s fault; it’s our fault. It’s Steve’s fault. It’s my fault as a leader on the floor, as a floor general. It’s Steph’s fault as a floor general, to get us in place, to get everybody moving. So it’s not like it’s one guy’s fault. This is a team effort; we win together, we lose together. And as floor generals, people who initiate the offense, we’ve got to know that. We have to understand that he’s one of our most dangerous weapons.
“Yet in the fourth quarter, (Thompson) is not even a weapon. If you just having him standing there, then no one’s going to leave his body. So if he’s just standing there, he’s doing us no good.”
Understand, the Warriors blew a 24-point third quarter lead. They were outscored 49-21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Defense came and went. Diagrammed offensive plays were poorly executed. There was a level of self-immolation that should be beyond the team favored to win the NBA championship.
There was Green, in an animated discussion with Durant, beseeching his teammate to stay with what was working earlier, the things that helped them build what should have been a comfortable lead.
Green put on his coach’s cap and, in essence, pointed out things he believes everyone can and will see.
“That’s something we have to understand as guys who are handling the basketball,” Green said. “And our coaching staff has to understand that, as sometimes who’s calling the plays out of timeouts, it’s a complete group effort.
“As long as we continue to do things as a group, which we will, I’m not worried about it at all. We’ll be fine. But those are the things we have to notice. And make sure we correct if we want to be great.”
He said that, in a way, he was “thrilled” that the Warriors lost because defeat gets the attention of everyone and should promote improvement.
“It’s not about 73 wins,” he said, referring to last season’s record total. “It’s not about making the All-Star Game or All-NBA. It’s about getting better each and every time you step on the floor. And if you’re not, someone else is.
“I don’t matter who starts the season off the best. It’s who is the best at the end. It’s a process. You can’t skip the process. You have to embrace every moment of that process.”