You’ve heard of superstar calls, right? Well, on Tuesday night the Warriors got what we’ll call a superstar non-call, and it helped them win a very close game. That’s right: A superstar non-call.
Draymond Green stole the ball from New Orleans power forward/center Anthony Davis in the final seconds with the Pelicans down two, helping seal the Warriors’ 113-109 win in the fifth and final game of their road trip. Davis was in the mid-post area while being guarded by Green, who appeared to have two hands on Davis’ back as Davis started to make his move.
On “Warriors WrapUp” on 95.7-FM The Game, the postgame show on the Golden State flagship, we talked about Green’s defensive play and other topics.
Davis tried to square Green up, but Green reached in and stripped the ball from Davis. The Warriors came up with possession, and that was your ballgame. Davis, not the most vocal of players, went ballistic and drew a technical foul with 2.3 seconds left. Was it a foul? Depends on whom you ask. Warriors fans will say: No way; Pelicans fans will say: Absolutely.
But Green is one of the best defenders in the NBA, if not the best, so let’s call it a “superstar non-call.” He’s also the likely front-runner for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Said coach Steve Kerr: “It looked clean because I’m the Warriors’ coach.”
–Zaza Pachulia missed his third straight game with a wrist injury and for the third straight game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr started someone different in his place. Against the Pelicans on Tuesday, JaVale McGee got the start and did a nice little job — perhaps better than the two who started before him. McGee finished with nine points and five rebounds in 16 minutes, including a plus-8 in the plus-minus category.
Anderson Varejao got the nod against the Memphis Grizzlies, and Kevon Looney started against Minnesota on Sunday.
–This is the second consecutive game where the Warriors picked up their defense in the fourth quarter and shut down an inferior opponent. Against Minnesota on Sunday, the Warriors were down 10 points entering the fourth quarter, but promptly went on a 22-4 run to turn the tide.
Against the Pelicans, the Warriors held New Orleans without a field goal for the final 4:45 of the ballgame, and only gave up one point in total — on an intentional foul no less, which put Jrue Holiday on the line.