Kurtenbach: What we learned in the Warriors’ blowout loss to the Bucks

Well, that’s about as poorly as the Warriors have played in the last five years.

And they did it on their home court, no less.

With no Draymond Green in the linuep, the Warriors were run off the Oracle Arena court Thursday by a hungry and talented Bucks team that was aiming to make a statement.

They succeeded.

Milwaukee took the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams 134-111 Thursday, opening up a lead as large as 29 points on the defending champions.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and nine rebounds in the win — likely shooting himself to the top of the NBA MVP discussion. Eric Bledsoe led the way for Milwaukee with 26 points in 26 minutes.

The Warriors? Well outside of Klay Thompson, there’s little to celebrate.

Here’s what we learned in the worst loss of the year:

Draymond Green is really important to this team
(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

I’m fond of saying that Draymond Green is the Stephen Curry of defense — he’s similarly one of the best (if not the best) in the league when it comes to his area of genius, but when it comes to overall impact, history will look upon both players more fondly than those in this day and age. They’re revolutionaries.

Green is simply the perfect defender for the NBA in 2018. Once a “tweeter” no one knew what to do with, his ability to defend all five positions and off-the-charts instincts makes him the fulcrum of the Warriors’ switch-everything defense, which is now copied around the league.

Though despite the imitation of the scheme, there’s no other Draymond Green.

I can put together highlight packages showing the incredible defensive things Green does every game, but it’s not just the blocks, steals, and rebounds that make him a generational talent — it’s also the help-side slides that might not show up in the box score but completely blow up the opponent’s possession.

It’s those kinds of things that aren’t obvious in the moment, but loom large when they’re not present.

And if you watched Thursday’s game against the Bucks, it was abundantly clear that Green was not playing for Golden State. It stood out like a sore toe… (I’ll show myself out.)

Green (out with a toe injury) watched the game from the bench, and the Bucks took full advantage of his absence.

Frankly, I’ve never seen such an inept defensive performance by the Warriors.

Some of that has to be chalked up to an off-night.

Plenty of credit needs to be given to the Bucks, who are both prodigiously talented and exceptionally coached, too.

But a good chunk of it needs to be attributed to the fact that Green didn’t play.

I’d like to think that’s a tremendous complement to Green, but it’s ultimately a crappy excuse for the Warriors’ woeful performance.

One guy — even a Hall of Fame defender like Green — shouldn’t be that pivotal to a team’s baseline competence on the defensive end.

But on Thursday, it sure seemed as if that was the case.

The Warriors found themselves in foul trouble early — …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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