All of the attention is on LeBron James’ injury, but the Los Angeles Lakers played their best defense of the 2018-19 NBA season against the Golden State Warriors.
With three of the best shooters of all-time in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Lakers doubled-teamed them and dared the Warriors supporting cast to shoot and carry the offensive load.
Andre Iguodala scored 23 points with most of it coming in the first half, but Draymond Green was clearly uncomfortable. As Green usually initiates the offense for the Warriors, he was forced to be more offensive-minded.
He finished with just 4 points (2-of-7 shooting from the field) before fouling out. After the 127-101 loss to the Lakers on Christmas Day, Green was upset about his performance, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
“I’ve got to be better. I kind of [expletive] our whole offense up and it kinda messed the flow of the game up. I’ve just got to be better. … They was playing that gimmick defense, and I was really hesitant to shoot and hesitant to make plays. I just wasn’t aggressive enough. It allowed the gimmicks to work. And then it kinda threw everyone else out of a rhythm and we never found a rhythm after that. … That gimmick defense, I should be able to pick that apart. I didn’t tonight.”
Following a career season in 2015-16, Green has not been a respectable shooter the past three years and counting. In 21 appearances so far this season, the 28-year-old is only shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 22.4 percent behind the arc.
As the Warriors are looking to win their fourth championship in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, teams like the Lakers are loading up on Curry, Thompson and Durant. With their main role players being poor three-point shooters, it gives opponents an opportunity to beat five All-Star players once DeMarcus Cousins returns.
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