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Takeaways from Draymond’s masterpiece in entertaining win over Hornets


After eight tries, the Warriors (19-15) have finally won three games in a row.

They did so in wildly entertaining fashion, beating the Charlotte Hornets 130-121 in a high-tempo, free-flowing game at Chase Center on Friday night. Here are three takeaways.

Driven Draymond is the best Draymond

Draymond Green had 17 assists, the most of his career, in three quarters. He finished with 19. He also nearly had a triple-double after one quarter (9 points, 7 rebounds 11 assists).

It was the best game of the season for Draymond (11-12-19) who has now had assist nights of 11, 11, 11, 12, 15, 15 and 19 this month. His wizardry was evident from the get go, contributing heavily to a franchise record 16 team assists in the first quarter. As the conductor, Green and the Warriors took almost comical advantage of the young Hornets defense, killing them via death by a thousand back cuts. Notice LaMelo Ball getting roasted in both clips below.

Green was also more aggressive attacking the basket, something we haven’t seen at all this year.

Green was largely responsible for the Warriors’ 36-28 first quarter lead, a margin of victory they held onto after playing the Hornets even for the next three quarters.

It’s probably no coincidence that Green came to play with incredible intensity after what happened the last time the two teams played last week. Green was embarrassingly issued double technicals while arguing a call late in the game with the Warriors down two. The Hornets, Terry Rozier specifically, made them pay, sinking both free throws before hitting a game-winning two immediately after.

Green came to Chase Center on Friday night with something to prove. He did that and then some.

From Pariah to All-Star?

Kelly Oubre won’t be playing in the NBA All-Star game next month, but he’s been playing like one in the month of February. Oubre is averaging a head turning line of 20 points and over 6 rebounds on 47 percent shooting from deep in the month while playing excellent defense. Oubre started the season 2-for-30 from the three-point line. Since then, he’s shooting 37 percent, which would be a career high.

Oubre was perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Green’s incredible passing performance, cutting to the basket with reckless abandon and getting rewarded nearly every time. He finished with 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting. The Warriors were +23 in his game-high 38 minutes.

Oubre’s off ball cutting is just one example of how immensely he’s grown and learned how to operate in the Warriors offense, after one of the worst stretches to open a season in recent memory. The first two months of Oubre’s Warriors’ tenure were defined by horrible shot selection. At one point he was shooting 19 percent from three on six attempts per game.

Now, it’s a rarity for Oubre to attempt a bad shot. He looks to put the ball on the floor before hoisting, leveraging his size and athleticism to get in the lane and become more of a playmaker.

It’s the type of turnaround that makes him look like he could be a key piece on a contender, something the Warriors plan on being with Klay Thompson in the fold next year. Oubre is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and if he keeps playing like this, Joe Lacob might consider opening the wallet to bring him back, even at an elevated price.

Wiseman plays like a star, when surrounded by them

Both James Wiseman and Ball impressed in second matchup between the No. 2 and 3 picks. Ball led the Hornets with an impressive 22-7-6 in 37 minutes, flashing incredible playmaking and shooting. Wiseman also flashed in his 17 minutes, specifically during a six minute stint with the starters at the end of the third quarter where he looked like a handful on both ends, and helped push the Warriors lead from 11 to 19.

Things were less smooth with the second unit, where Wiseman forced the issue more on offense, often in the form of contested midrange jumpers. The second unit as a whole remains a problem. They were outscored 15-3 to begin the second quarter, quickly conceding the eight point first quarter lead. Eric Paschall (-10) is seemingly unable to be effective with another center on the floor and Brad Wanamaker (2 points, 0 assists, game worst -14) looked at times like he might be on his way out of the league.

Steve Kerr and the coaching staff need to make some sort of change, one that could involve calling Jordan Poole up from the G-League, a much better pick-and-roll fit for Wiseman. The answer could also be to move Wiseman back into the starting lineup, but that is tough at the moment considering how effective Kevon Looney (+7 in 20 minutes) has been with that group.

Against a team like Charlotte, the Warriors’ starters were able to overcome two awful stints from that group. Against the Lakers on Sunday, they won’t.

 

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