Warriors focus: Draymond Green

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Warriors focus: Draymond Green

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fifth installment in a seven-part series that spotlights the seven new Warriors.
Part 1: Harrison BarnesPart 2: Kent Bazemore
Part 3: Andrew Bogut
Part 4: Festus Ezeli

The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end of the 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their roster come the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hes a newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for the team yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin our player-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Draymond Green, 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, small forwardpower forward.If theres one thing you continue to hear about forward Draymond Green its that hes smart and knows how to play. Yes, he fits the description of the classic tweener, but the Warriors certainly believe hell figure out a way to find a niche in the NBA.Make no mistake, if Green is playing power forward, hell be an undersized four. And if he finds himself playing small forward, well, then, hes going to be challenged athletically and in the quickness department.
But what Green does have is length, and that will give him the opportunity to combat some of the deficiencies hes likely to face navigating those two positions.Green anticipates well, he can pass and he fully understands how to play team defense the result of having played under Tom Izzo at Michigan State for four seasons. Those are the kinds of little things that make it possible for Green to get playing time -- though a close look at the Warriors roster indicates it wont be easy.For every positive, there seems to be a negative when it comes to Green, but you would expect as much from a player drafted in the second round. Hes not an elite athlete, doesnt have what you would call a great body, and isnt yet a consistent shooter.Still, the Warriors clearly believe the positives outweigh the negatives and theyre hoping that down the road Green turns into a contributor. How do we know the Warriors believe that?Well, because the Warriors gave Green a guaranteed contract for two seasons and a partial guarantee for Year No. 3. That doesnt happen to every second-round selection, thats for sure.Green is an OK mid-range shooter, and he seems to have the ability to be a 3-point threat down the road. More important, he plays with consistent energy right now, and he has shown a knack for rebounding the ball.Its nothing short of impressive that Green left Michigan State as the schools all-time leading rebounder, and averaged 10.6 rebounds his senior season for the Spartans.He might not be able to duplicate those numbers at the NBA level, but by the same token those kinds of numbers indicate that Green has very good anticipation, a nose for the ball and some good hands, too.One look at the lay of the land, though, and its tough to see Green getting minutes. Hes No. 3 on the depth chart at power forward behind David Lee and Carl Landry, so theres little to no playing time there.And its not like there are an abundance of minutes at small forward not with rookie Harrison Barnes, re-signed Brandon Rush and veteran Richard Jefferson all in the mix there.Then again, were still talking about a player who was drafted in the second round and doesnt have a definitive position. So, its less about whether Green is going to get playing time and more a question of whether he can play in the league.

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors needed less than nine minutes to open a 24-point lead over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Stephen Curry scored 26 points and the Warriors controlled the Jazz from start to finish in a 106-99 victory.

Curry had 14 points during a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz's only lead of the game was 4-2.

"Loss of focus," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about the second half. "Our first quarter was great, we pushed the ball and our defensive intensity was fantastic. I think we let down. We started turning it over some careless, purposeless plays.

"We didn't really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish. Some defensive mistakes not getting out on shooters and they took advantage."

Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored a career-high 21 points, and Shelvin Mack added a season-high 19.

The Jazz have four starters sidelined by injuries, including their top three scorers.

"I didn't do a good job of attacking throughout the game and I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack," Durant said about the fourth quarter.

Golden State led 65-46 at halftime as the second unit allowed the Jazz to hang around and, technically, remain within striking distance. The urgency from the first quarter disappeared in the second half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quarter thanks to buckets from Mack and Ingles, but Durant closed the game with 11 in the final period.

"What we've discussed is just roles," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about surviving the injuries. "They can morph. They widen, they can narrow, they can do anything. Hopefully, on a team, guys are willing to evolve and adjust to what the team needs. That's really all we emphasized."

TIP-INS

Warriors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a career-high 10 points, all in the first half. ... Shaun Livingston took the night off to rest. ... Draymond Green was two assists shy of his 15th career triple-double. ... Green tweaked his ankle, but he and Kerr didn't seem overly concerned.

Jazz: Utah started the combination of Joe Johnson, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this season. ... Ingles hit a career-high five 3-pointers.

INJURED JAZZ

The Jazz were without four starters — Gordon Hayward (finger), Rodney Hood (hamstring), George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee). Utah has been dealing with injuries all season, but Thursday was their most depleted lineup to date.

"It's easy to be frustrated," Snyder said. "That's something you have to just fight against and make a decision to do the best with where we are.

"It's a credit to our guys really. We've got a group that has character. Over a longer period of time it becomes more challenging. ... Hopefully, there's a silver lining. We've got some guys that are getting minutes that may not be getting otherwise."

QUOTABLE

"This team, my first year was kind of a surprise and everybody seemed to love us. Now maybe it's changed a little bit. It honestly makes no difference to us." — Kerr.

ROLES

Snyder said roles morph, but Joe Johnson added that shouldn't be a difficult thing night-to-night.

"This is our profession, man," Johnson said. "This is what we signed up for. This is what we do. When you're number's called, you've got to be ready regardless of the circumstances."

UP NEXT

Warriors: Golden State travels to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the third game of a five-game trip.

Jazz: Utah hosts a Sacramento Kings team on Saturday that has lost eight of 12 on the road.

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Thursday.                             

During his most recent assignment, which began Nov. 30, Jones averaged 2.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 19.3 minutes over three games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

The Vanderbilt product, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2016 NBA Draft, grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 17 minutes on Dec. 3 at Maine.

The 7’0”, 245-pound center has appeared in five games (two starts) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 2.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 19.0 minutes.

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