Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said he didn't need an explanation from head coach Steve Kerr about why he was benched for a portion of the fourth quarter in the team's Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
The Warriors' defensive stalwart explained on his Draymond Green Show podcast he doesn't believe coaches should have to tell a player why they're sticking with a different lineup that's working, especially in the NBA Finals with the Dubs trying to avoid a 3-1 series deficit:
"I've been struggling, as we all can see. Thought I played a better game tonight, overall game but definitely was struggling from the field, struggling on offensive end. And I be shocked when teams feel like, 'Aw man, something is working for us but we have to go back to this because of a resume, because of a contract, because of whatever reason people feel they need to go back.' This is the playoffs. I don't get caught up in—as long as we win the game...you can throw whoever out there. As long as we win, I really don't care. And so the whole notion of like, that you have to check in with certain guys if you're going to take them out the game or if you think it's better for the team. I think that's ridiculous. I watch teams every year in the playoffs not sub guys that they know they should sub, and they lose. And so the fact that, you know, Steve went away from me for a little while, was I pissed off and frustrated? Absolutely. There's seven minutes to go in an extremely important game. You know, you can't go down 3-1, you don't want to go down 3-1, and I'm coming out of the game. I was livid. But I credit my teammates."
Green couldn't find a rhythm with his shot once again as he knocked down just one of his seven attempts from the field. He's shooting just 30.7 percent in the series, including an 0-of-9 mark on threes.
The four-time All-Star did manage to chip in nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 33 minutes as part of Golden State's critical 107-97 win to level the Finals at two games apiece.
Kerr, who described Green as an "ultimate competitor," said the veteran understands the coaching staff has to make tough decisions at this stage of the season.
"Look, this is a tough series for him to score because of Boston's size and athleticism, but he's still impacting the game at a huge level," Kerr told reporters. "And he knows we're just going to do whatever it takes to win."
Green has been more of a secondary offensive contributor in recent years. He averaged just 7.5 points across 46 appearances during the 2021-22 regular season, but his offensive efficiency has been important. He shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of the team's first three playoff series.
Being able to take advantage of opportunities around the rim and knocking down the occasional three can give the Warriors a boost, and there's still time left in the Finals for him to make an impact in that aspect of the game.
His main responsibility remains at the defensive end, where his ability to switch on to several of the Celtics' stars sets the tone for Golden State at that end of the floor.
All told, the Finals are a true toss-up at this point, and it feels like the series is on a path toward an eventual Game 7.
Green hasn't played his best so far, but his track record suggests he'll find a way to make his mark before the Larry O'Brien Trophy is handed out.
Game 5 is set for Monday night as the Warriors return home to the Chase Center.