As Golden State Warriors fans, there are few lasting images that will forever be inscribed in our minds. Whether it was Baron welcoming AK-47 to his house, or Steph's 54 in MSG, these images can help forever cement a player's status in DubNation folklore.
Draymond Green may have done just that Wednesday night against the Clippers.
After splashing a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 29 early in the third (off of a perfect behind the back pass from Curry), Draymond had a rather interesting way of letting Blake's thinly sculpted stache know about it.
To some (and by some, I mean Clipper fans) Draymond's taunt was considered tasteless. To everyone else, it was pure awesomeness. Green was clearly effective on Blake Griffin last year towards the end of the playoffs, but it hasn't stopped there. According to ESPN:
"Blake Griffin struggled Wednesday when defended by Draymond Green, scoring just 4 points on 25% shooting (2-of-8). - In their last 8 meetings Green has limited Griffin to 7.4 points per game on 43.3% shooting"
You don't need to be sitting next to Doc Rivers to realize that Draymond Green gives Blake Griffin noticeable fits. Add in a career high scoring performance from Green, and sparks will fly. There is no love lost between the Clippers and the Warriors, nor should there be.
Draymond Green is the fire that Golden State Warriors basketball has been missing for quite some time. He plays with an intensity that is contagious to his teammates along with a gritty and hard-nosed style that is not particularly sexy, but necessary on any championship contending squad (Kawhi Leonard anyone?). Whether it's forcing Chris Paul into sloppy (and uncharacteristic) turnovers, or banging with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin in the paint, Draymond never backs down from a battle, and ultimately has supreme confidence in himself and his teammates.
The Clippers won't get another crack at the Warriors until their showdown on Christmas, and you better believe that last night's loss left a very sour taste in the mouths of the Clippers — most specifically that of Blake Griffin.
The Warriors did a lot of good things last night. They shot the ball
tongues out lights out, (58% FG, 60% 3P) and played the Clippers aggressively on defense, having numerous players step up when called upon. As the season continues to unfold, we are really getting the opportunity to see just how deep this team really is, as it feels like the Warriors have an endless amount of lineup possibilities.
These Warriors are Tough
More importantly, a real identity is starting to take shape with this team — a real "punch-first and ask you how that felt' type of attitude. Unlike Warriors teams of the past who have tried to adopt this method of play, the Dubs' first punch doesn't necessarily have to come from the offensive side of the ball. The defensive prowess from the likes of Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are evident. But being able to bring an All-NBA Defensive first teamer off of the bench, along with Festus Ezeli and Shaun Livingston is almost unfair (unless we're playing the Clippers, where fairness holds no meaning.)
The season is still young, but boy can these Dubs fly. This team has a lot of qualities about it that cannot be constricted to statistics. Like rebounds that are brought down and ripped away from two opposing defenders, fighting over tough screens, and simply getting into your opponents head. This team is being molded into a championship contender, a mold that will feature 5 separate indents from the rather large championship rings on Steve Kerr's hands. It's going to be a fun year, one I'm sure that will include both its ups and its downs. For now, let us enjoy the Dubs best start in over 20 years.
Strap up fellas — it's going to be one hell of a ride.