The Absence of Draymond Green and Its Impact on the Golden State Warriors
In mid-January, the Golden State Warriors faced a setback as they sent forward Draymond Green to the injured list (IL) due to a calf and back injury. Unfortunately, Green has not been able to take the court since then. Both the Warriors organization and Green himself anticipate his return within the next three to four weeks.
Extended Recovery Time and Back Injury Details
Initially, the Warriors believed that a two-week period of rest would be sufficient for Green to recover from his back injury. However, it has now been five weeks since his initial diagnosis, indicating the complexity of his condition. Green has been dealing with a bulging disk in his back, which has further led to the development of a calf injury.
Draymond Green’s Importance to the Warriors
Although Green’s statistics may not immediately catch one’s attention, his on-court impact for the Warriors cannot be overstated. Averaging 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game this season, Green brings a menacing presence in terms of both offense and defense. As the Warriors’ enforcer, he ensures opponents think twice before challenging his teammates, such as Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.
Notably, Green is widely recognized as one of the top defenders in the NBA, capable of guarding players in all five positions. Prior to his injury, he was considered one of the co-favorites, alongside Rudy Gobert, to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. However, Gobert’s odds have now improved, making him the betting favorite at +130, while Green follows closely at +200.
Impact on Warriors’ Season and Playoff Prospects
The unfortunate timing of Green’s injury coincided with Klay Thompson’s return to the lineup for the first time since the 2019 postseason. This was a significant blow to the Warriors, who must rely on a healthy Green to pursue a deep playoff run. So far this season, Green has missed a total of 20 games, resulting in a 13-7 record for the team in his absence.
Despite this setback, the Warriors hold the second-best record in the NBA this season, currently securing the #2 seed in the Western Conference. While they trail the Phoenix Suns by 6.5 games, both teams are considered co-favorites (+425) to win the 2022 NBA Championship, as indicated in a recent update by DraftKings.
The Emergence of Rookie Jonathan Kuminga
With Green sidelined, rookie Jonathan Kuminga has had the opportunity to step up and contribute valuable minutes for the Warriors. Born in the Congo, Kuminga relocated to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a basketball career. Instead of taking the traditional collegiate route, he signed with the NBA G League Ignite for his gap year after high school.
Initially, Kuminga faced adjustment challenges upon joining the Warriors. However, in Green’s absence, he showcased his potential and gained the trust of head coach Steve Kerr. During the month of February, Kuminga elevated his game, averaging 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in eight appearances. Additionally, he boasts an impressive shooting percentage of 60.3% from the field.
Unfortunate Circumstances: Draymond Green’s Super Bowl Robbery
Adding insult to injury, during Super Bowl 56, Green experienced a devastating incident as his Los Angeles home was burglarized. While attending the game at SoFi Stadium to witness the LA Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, thieves seized the opportunity to steal approximately $1 million worth of cash, watches, and jewelry from his residence.
The NFL had already urged players and coaches associated with the LA Rams to enhance their security measures during the Super Bowl due to a surge in crime within Los Angeles over the past year. Notably, even some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city have been affected. This unfortunate incident echoes a similar occurrence during the 2017 World Series when burglars targeted the home of LA Dodgers player Yasiel Puig, stealing numerous valuables while he was away competing against the Houston Astros.
The absence of Draymond Green has undeniably impacted the Golden State Warriors this season. His defensive prowess, in combination with his ability to contribute across multiple statistical categories, makes him a crucial component of the team’s success. While the Warriors have managed a commendable record without Green, his return is eagerly anticipated to further strengthen their playoff prospects.
1. When is Draymond Green expected to return to the court for the Warriors?
Both the Warriors organization and Draymond Green himself anticipate his return within the next three to four weeks.
2. How has Draymond Green’s absence affected the Warriors’ win-loss record this season?
In the 20 games that Draymond Green has missed this season, the Warriors have compiled a record of 13 wins and 7 losses.
3. Who is the current favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award?
Rudy Gobert is currently favored to win the Defensive Player of the Year award with +130 odds, while Draymond Green follows closely behind at +200.
4. How has rookie Jonathan Kuminga performed in the absence of Draymond Green?
Jonathan Kuminga has excelled in Draymond Green’s absence, showcasing his potential by averaging 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in eight appearances during the month of February.
5. Did Draymond Green recently experience an unfortunate incident?
Yes, Draymond Green’s Los Angeles home was burglarized during Super Bowl 56, resulting in the loss of approximately $1 million worth of cash, watches, and jewelry.