clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Should Draymond Green continue shooting threes?

New, comments

NBA teams are giving Green more room than ever to shoot from deep. Despite his poor percentage, should he keep shooting?

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green has never been a great shooter. Over the last couple years, his shot has steadily declined from okay to straight up bad. Usually, his ballhandling and passing make him still valuable, but his unwillingness to shoot the ball this year is cratering his productivity.

Green is averaging only 6.3 points a game on 40.4% True Shooting, despite playing 30 minutes a game. He hasn’t played much due to a toe injury, so there’s a good chance his slump is due to some combination of small sample, lack of rhythm, and injury. But right now, even despite his great playmaking for others, he’s a weakness on offense.

Because of the other stars on the Warriors, teams often clog the paint or double away from the other Warriors’ poorer shooters. They’ll force players like Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green to beat them by hitting their threes. Fortunately for the Warriors, the supporting cast is hitting their threes this year: Quinn Cook, Jonas Jerebko, Alfonzo McKinnie and even Iguodala are shooting quite well, though the offense should be getting them more open shots.

This leaves Draymond as the only three-point shooter who’s struggling. But given the fact that Kevon Looney, Shaun Livingston, and Jordan Bell don’t shoot threes, the Warriors still have lineups with too many non-shooters on the floor.

The reason for Draymond’s shooting struggles the last couple years is not clear. During the 73-win 2015-2016, he shot a career-high 38% from long range. But Steve Kerr dissuaded him from shooting as many threes, and some elbow and shoulder injuries have reportedly affected his shooting motion. If you compare his shooting motion now to that of a few years ago, he’s more hunched and stiff now.

But empowering players to trust their shot instincts usually opens up their offense. If Draymond Green is open, I think he should shoot the three. But it’s also up to Steve Kerr to pair him with shooters: for example, I would try to keep Shaun Livingston and, to some extent, Andre Iguodala off the court when Green is playing. Green is actually shooting pretty well from inside, so advising him to drive to the basket more would be smart as well.

Overall, I’m not too worried about Green. I’m confident he can turn on the elite defense when necessary, and think many of his offensive struggles can be solved by playing him with more shooters. And I do think he should keep shooting threes. Even shooting 30% on them is valuable.