Often, an NBA athlete can be his own worse critic.
After a dismal Game 3 performance that coincided with Golden State surrendering a 2-1 series lead to Boston, Draymond Green proved the old saying correct, bluntly saying he played “like sh*t” when asked how he felt played. The former Michigan State Spartan finished the Warriors’ 116-100 loss with two points, four rebounds, and three assists before fouling out in 35 minutes of action.
“Just think I never found a rhythm, really on both ends of the floor,” Green said, “Not enough force, but just gotta find a rhythm quicker.”
Reporter: "How do you feel you played?"— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 9, 2022
Draymond Green: "Like shit." pic.twitter.com/rR1D1NgRg7
Green’s performance differed sharply from Game 2, where the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year set the tone as Golden State’s resident enforcer and bully. Green forced a jump ball just seconds into the first quarter. He got into the face of Grant Williams, drawing a tech, and was seen jaw jackin’ with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum throughout the game.
That version of Draymond Green was nowhere to be seen in Game 3 aside from a brief, tense interaction he had with Williams in the second quarter. In fact, Boston bullied the bully and dominated the inside, outscoring Golden State 52-26 in the paint. Boston also outrebounded the Warriors by a 47-31 margin, including grabbing nine more offensive boards that led to the Celtics scoring 22 second-chance points.
“I was soft,” Green said. “That’s what was most disappointing to me.”
Green’s up-and-down Finals performances are compounded by the fact that he’s allowing 1.24 points per play when he’s the direct defender, the worse he’s allowed in any playoff series since 2014, per Second Spectrum.
In the NBA Finals, Draymond Green is allowing 1.24 points per play when he’s the direct defender, which is his worst of any playoff series since 2013-14, per @SecondSpectrum. pic.twitter.com/f3No6dgSbY— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 9, 2022
Coach Steve Kerr said the expectation is for Green to bounce back heading into Friday’s Game 4 in TD Garden, playing a significant role in hopefully helping Golden State tie the series up at 2-2 as the series shifts back to San Francisco.
“I trust Draymond as much as I trust anybody,” Coach Steve Kerr said per Yahoo Sports. “You know, he always bounces back from losses and from tough nights individually. He’ll be back on Friday.”