The Golden State Warriors are the best offense in basketball, and the key to it all may be their power forward. Draymond Green is unlocking new heights for a team filled with firepower.
Everyone in Oracle Arena expected the Golden State Warriors to win Wednesday night. After an undefeated four-game road trip out East, the Warriors were at home and ready to enact revenge on a Los Angeles Lakers team that embarrassed them a few weeks earlier.
What wasn’t expected was the complete destruction that ensued, a 43-point blowout of a Lakers team that entered the game better than .500.
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After a combined 140 wins the last two seasons saw the Warriors break nearly every offensive record in franchise history, Wednesday night saw Golden State reach new heights.
The Warriors assisted on 47 of their 53 made baskets last night, setting a franchise record that had stood for 35 years. That total was the most by any NBA team since the Phoenix Suns also put up 47 in 1991. The Warriors put on a passing display no current player has ever taken part in.
Unlike any other team in the league, Golden State’s masterpiece was conducted by their power forward. Draymond Green led the team with 11 assists, finding players inside and outside as he rocketed the ball around the court.
Green is leading the team for the season with 7.1 assists, by far the most for a big man in the association. He is the only big in the league averaging more than five; Blake Griffin of the Clippers has 4.6 assists, good for 30th in the league.
Draymond is embracing his role as a playmaker on offense — he made only one basket on a night the Warriors put up 149 points in regulation — and that is opening up this offense to reach historic heights.
His 10.4 points per game are his fewest since becoming a full-time starter and he has yet to score more than 16 points in a single game.
Yet his sacrifice — if that is a proper description of the shift — is keying this ever-growing monster that is the Golden State offense.
The Warriors’ 149 points were the most scored by a team in a regulation game since the Denver Nuggets erupted for 168 in a 2007 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
Even after a shaky start that saw the offense learn how to work together with its new pieces, the Warriors are now leading the leading the league in offense by a mile. They are averaging 119.2 points per game, nearly nine points more than the second place Los Angeles Clippers.
In fact, the Clippers are closer to the 21st-ranked New York Knicks than they are to Golden State in first.
No one is suggesting that Draymond Green is the best player on this team. Stephen Curry is the two-time reigning MVP and recently set the record for most three-pointers in a game with 13 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kevin Durant is averaging 27 points per game on an unconscionable 57 percent shooting; no player in the top 30 in scoring averages more than 51 percent.
Klay Thompson is raining down triples after a slow start; Andre Iguodala has been scorching teams from the corners over the last four games; Ian Clark dropped 21 points on the Lakers in only 18 minutes.
The entire team is rolling on offense and that was on full display Wednesday night against the Lakers.
Their brilliance isn’t lost on the players and coaches around them. Luke Walton was asked about the record-breaking performance after Wednesday’s game:
Lakers coach Luke Walton on the Warriors: "That was a beautiful exhibition they put on us out there."
Steve Kerrhighlighted Draymond Green’s importance to the team before they took the court against the Lakers, saying the following about Green:
“He’s kept his poise. He’s been one of the best players in the league night in and night out, and he’s doing it in a manner in which he’s kind of maintained his emotion but kept his edge, and that’s the balance we were hoping he would find, and he’s doing a great job.”