Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows he has something special in Draymond Green, writes Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s fantastic. He’s a winner,” Kerr said about Green, who worked this summer to transform himself into a stretch-4. “We love what he does for our team. In a lot of ways, he’s our heart and soul. He plays with such passion at both ends, and I think it’s contagious.” Still on his rookie contract, Green is under the Warriors’ control through the 2015/16 season, though with their limited financial flexibility, GM Bob Myers and company could have trouble matching an offer for him in restricted free agency.
There was more Saturday night from the NBA:
- Hornets coach Steve Clifford blasted his team as unprofessional after Saturday’s 30-point loss to the Hawks, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer details. Charlotte trailed 64-28 at halftime and never made a serious run,. “Effort night in and night out is always going to be the responsibility of the head coach and the best players,” Clifford said. “The basic nightly intensity of your team comes down to that, and I’m the person most responsible. That is obviously unacceptable – for the franchise to the fans to ever play a game with that little intensity.”
- The Lakers could be headed for years of suffering, but Jim Buss shouldn’t stick around to join in, opines Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times. Calling the team “last in the NBA in defense, last in the Western Conference standings, last in watchability,” Bolch called on Buss, the team’s executive VP of basketball operations, to step down before the three- to four-year timetable Buss gave himself to rebuild the team. Bolch said the Lakers have little chance to land any of next summer’s top free agents like LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol.
- One explanation for the Grizzlies‘ early success is the sophisticated two-man game executed by Gasol and Mike Conley, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes in a subscription-only piece. The pair overwhelmed Portland in the fourth quarter of Friday’s clash of Western Conference powers. “We’ve pretty much seen any kind of defense you can throw at us, so we pretty much have counters for everything,” Gasol said. “Once we make a couple of jumpers, you have to totally change your scheme and play us a different way.”