There were a lot of ups and downs in Tuesday night’s season opener for the Warriors. While they got to celebrate their 2017 championship, Golden State lost the game, and lost Draymond Green in the process.
It’s unclear how much time Green will miss. He had an MRI today, but the team didn’t seem too worried.
Steve Kerr on Draymond Green: "I don't think it's serious, but we'll see." MRI this morning.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 18, 2017
If Green misses games, it’s likely that rookie Jordan Bell will take his place in the starting lineup. When the whole team is healthy, Bell will usually play center, as the Dubs generally employ lineups with only one big man.
But with Draymond - the Warriors’ best interior defender by a landslide - out, Steve Kerr would presumably turn to Bell at power forward. The second-round pick has the instincts and athleticism to protect the rim, while still being able to handle perimeter players, and switch on screens.
At practice on Wednesday, Bell appeared ready to not only step into the starting position, but move to the power forward slot.
If Draymond Green misses time, Jordan Bell is likely the fill-in power forward. He discusses differences in playing 4 and 5 spot pic.twitter.com/7cUSUsvJwo— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 18, 2017
Bell got a surprising amount of playing time in his first NBA game. His 12 minutes were tops among Warriors’ frontcourt players, and he showed off some skills with 8 points on 4-5 shooting.
While Bell at times displayed his high defensive ceiling, he also got beat and lost on a number of plays. To his credit, Bell did not hide from this, and offered a very blunt evaluation of his performance.
Jordan Bell: "I thought I played terrible defense yesterday." Said he's hopeful he'll get better as he gets more acclimated to NBA.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) October 18, 2017
There’s no doubt he’ll get better defensively, where he has all the tools necessary to be elite. Draymond Green missing some time would be a big bummer, but seeing Bell get the chance to grow would be a pretty great silver lining.