Draymond Green: DeMarcus Cousins Not to Blame for Warriors’ Poor Defense

by March 07, 2019
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The addition of DeMarcus Cousins isn’t to blame for the Warriors’ porous defense this season, according to teammate Draymond Green.

“Our defense has been horseshit no matter who’s in there,” says Green.

Golden State has a 109.5 defensive rating this season—good for 16th in the NBA—and is nearly identical with Boogie on (108.6) or off (108.9) the floor.

Per The Athletic:

“So many people are kind of looking at the starting lineup and saying, ‘Oh, DeMarcus is in there and the defense is worse,’” Green said. “But our defense has been horseshit no matter who’s in there.”

Cousins’ lack of mobility and experience in the Warriors’ established system has presented issues. They’re trying to adjust and tweak and cover up some holes. But, as Draymond sees it, they can’t start to discover and solve the defensive concerns until they actually play interested defense behind Cousins.

“It’s easy to look at the numbers and think the numbers tell the story,” Green said. “But we haven’t been competing. It starts with competing at the level we need to compete. Then we can kind of get a better read on what’s working and what isn’t. But right now, we can’t get a read.”

Remember, if he wins Defensive Player of the Year this season, Draymond qualifies for a designated player extension, which significantly bumps his earning power and negotiating leverage on his next contract.

“With the way our defense has been playing as a team, it’s impossible (to get it),” Draymond said. “That falls on me as the leader of that side of the ball. It falls on me to get guys to lock in on that side of the ball. We’re clearly not locked in. Sometimes in life you gotta make people do what they necessarily don’t want to do. Defense is usually one of those things. No one really wants to play defense. I have to focus on that.”

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