OAKLAND – If it’s halftime in the Warriors locker room and the first half was less than impressive, then Draymond Green won’t stand for it.
He has to say something, and he does.
But, of course, Green’s halftime memo on Monday night, which prodded the Warriors to a 127-105 victory over New Orleans, will receive no more than a fraction of the attention that followed his halftime memo 16 days earlier in the locker room at Oklahoma City.
That one was louder, and came with a threat – even if Green never would have carried it out. The volume this time, at Oracle Arena, was much lower, but the effect was the same: The Warriors responded with a terrific second half to take over the game.
For Green, it was all in a few minutes’ work.
“It was just that we needed to be better on the defensive end,” he told CSNBayArea.com. “When we’re flowing on the defensive end, everything else takes care of itself. When we’re not, that’s when we have trouble.”
Green was emphasizing principles installed 18 months ago by coach Steve Kerr and constantly underscored by the team’s defensive coordinator, assistant coach Ron Adams: Defend as a five-man TEAM, not as five INDIVIDUALS.
Help. Talk. Switch. Anticipate smartly.
“Individual matchups and all that stuff will take care of itself,” Green said. “If we’re locking down the team, then we’re better off anyway. If we’re shutting down one guy, and all of sudden everybody else is getting off something’s not right.
“When our team defense is great, everything else is flowing.”
Regardless how much publicity is generated by Green’s latest episode of halftime griping, the coaching staff clearly appreciated it. The Warriors once again benefitted. They were, at Oklahoma City on Feb. 27 and at Oakland on March 14, a better team after halftime.
If the message sticks over the final 16 regular-season games and into the playoffs, the Warriors will be better off.