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Symbiosis or shortcoming? Draymond Green scores two points, Klay Thompson tallies one assist; Warriors look great

A balanced roster doesn’t necessarily mean everyone does everything

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls
Not every useful play is a jumpshot

That’s two consecutive games for Draymond Green scoring exactly two points. Over approximately 54 minutes, he’s scored a grand total of four points; Klay Thompson has three assists over that same span.

But over the course of those same two games, the Warriors have absolutely demolished some low-tier competition. Yeah, it’s still diminished a bit in light of the talent gap - but the win is demonstrative in understanding how this team works at peak efficiency. You see, “Strength in Numbers” doesn’t mean each component is used in exactly the same way or that they are all equally strong.

Basketball symbiosis at the heart of Warriors looking their best

Often times, I get frustrated hearing coach Steve Kerr saying something like, “we don’t need Andre Iguodala to score.” It smacks of acceptance of less-than-full output. But after watching Klay Thompson and Draymond Green through these last two games, I think I’ve decided on another explanation - basketball symbiosis.

Simply defined, the term “symbiosis” means “interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.” For the Warriors, there are some inherent gaps and peaks in certain players’ games that don’t just cover for each other - they actively complement one another.

Look at our top three best four-man units... they may not contain the guys you’d think:

Klay and Dray appear prominently in most of our best units

Draymond Green has not scored more than 19 points all season; in fact, he’s score nine points or less in the majority of games so far (21 times out of 28 games played). Thompson has a similar hole in his game: he’s averaging two assists per game on the season and has one or less in 18 games.

And yet, it’s all good.

Klay Thompson’s “four dribbles” should inform how we view Green’s low scoring output

Against the Bulls earlier in the week, Thompson dropped 43 points on “just four dribbles.” Now, that’s not four dribbles total, but rather his dribbles on those shooting possessions - but the remarkable performance still stands out a bit more because of that added statistic about dribbling.

When Darwin famously spoke on “survival of the fittest” he wasn’t talking about the dudes with the lowest body fat or longest arms - rather, it refers to species that best fit into the broader ecosystem. If Darwin was a basketball-head, he’d marvel at how the Warriors’ Galapagos Islands style fit each other.

Some outsiders have asked me about Thompson’s four dribble night. “Is that a good thing? Because he can’t score without being fed the ball?”

Yes. Yes it is, because it’s indicative of how the pieces on this team all fit together.

Back in the day, Dennis Rodman played for the Bulls alongside Michael Jordan and averaged around five and-a-half points per game. It’s not a problem for the team, as long as you’ve got that aspect of the game covered somewhere else.

Next to some of the greatest scorers of all time, we really don’t need Andre Iguodala or Draymond Green to score a bunch of points. Klay Thompson can indeed be a black hole because it works within the larger architecture of this team. I looked it up, and this team has the best offensive rating of all time, according to basketballreference.com.

Warriors 2018-19 offensive rating is impressive, within a historical context

So celebrate those big two points from Draymond Green. Celebrate Klay Thompson not having to dribble or pass. Because it’s working.

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