Draymond Green Takes Blame for Warriors’ Defense in Loss

    Getty/Jason Miller

    Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors reacts during a dead ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

    Put those brooms away.

    As great as the Golden State Warriors looked the first three games against the Denver Nuggets, the same could not be said for their close out game. After holding the Nuggets under 120 the first trio of games, the Warriors gave up 126 to the Nuggets, and lost 126-121. The defeat allows the series to return back to San Francisco for Game 5.

    The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak, including the end of the regular season. It was the first loss suffered for the Dubs in the month of April.

    “We had our chances. Really proud of the guys for the effort,” coach Steve Kerr says after the game. “They really fought and gave themselves a chance. But I thought they started too late. We had a very poor first half. Between the fouling and turnovers, I think we had 11 or 10 turnovers at halftime or maybe more. It took us a long time to get going tonight.”

    The Warriors spent all game trying to dig themselves out of deep holes. Trailing by as much as 17 in the second quarter and nine points entering the final frame, the Dubs managed to scratch and crawl their way to take a 121-119 lead with 1:21 left in the game. However, it was just too much to overcome, as their sloppy play all night derailed the Warriors the opportunity to send the Nuggets packing.

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    Green Sounds Off on Warriors Defense, But Takes Accountability

    Draymond Green fouled out with 2:05 left in the game, and the Nuggets finished the game outscoring the Warriors 9-5 to pick up the win.

    As the defensive captain of the squad, Green realizes the responsibility he bears for the team, and how it cost his team the chance to finish off the Nuggets. Throughout the series, he has been the key clog to play center matching up against Nikola Jokic.

    “Our man defense was pretty sh—- tonight and that fails on me,” Green tells the media after Game 4. “I have to be better there. I can’t foul out of the game. I can’t start off the game fouling. We had a great trap. I get a foul. I feel like it set the tone and we were fouling the rest of the game.”

    Draymond Green Postgame Interview – Game 4 | Warriors vs Nuggets | 2022 NBA PlayoffsGolden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets – Full Game 4 Highlights | April 24, 2022 | First Round, 2022 NBA Playoffs 📌 SHOP OUR MERCH: 📌 Follow our Instagram: 📌 Follow our TikTok: 📌 Follow our Facebook: #HouseofHighlights #NBA #HoH2022-04-24T23:38:11Z

    Within twenty seconds into the start of the game, Green accidentally poked Jokic in the eye, and started a tussle with Aaron Gordon.

    Draymond Green and Aaron Gordon get into it 40 seconds in to game 4 😅#nba #nbahighlights #nbahighlightstoday2022-04-24T21:10:35Z

    From that moment on, the officiating started calling ticky tack fouls the rest of the contest and it bought renewed energy for the otherwise depleted Nuggets players and fans. With 27 total fouls for the game, it severely hampered the Warriors from showcasing their shutdown defense.

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    Loss Cuts into Lengthy Rest

    Had the Warriors swept the Nuggets, the Dubs could have potentially enjoyed at least a six-day layoff until their second-round matchup. Steph Curry and others could have definitely used the extra days off to recover more from their ailments.

    With the Memphis Grizzles and Minnesota Timberwolves in a dogfight at 2-2, the Dubs will probably be awaiting the winner of that series.

    It would have given the coaching staff and scouts ample time to prepare for either opponent, especially with how much faster and more athletic both teams play compared to the Nuggets. The Dubs will likely have to tweak their rotations against those teams, as they have more length and depth than what the Dubs faced off with the Nuggets.

    It’s probably not the end of the world though. With how easy the first two victories were, the Warriors did not have much that they needed to do with adjustments. Now with the loss, it at least presents the team with some more game film they can go over and correct. Their turnovers (15) and fouls (27) are something they are going to want to minimize, especially when they play tougher opponents in latter rounds.

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