SACRAMENTO — With the exception of a playoff game, Damion Lee’s second and last trip back to Chase Center this season wasn’t as pleasant on Monday as Golden State defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-112.
Lee finished his 18 minutes of action with seven points and five rebounds. His field goal percentage was 3 of 9, and his plus/minus was negative 11. The box score wasn’t accurate; the optics were.
Klay Thompson sped through him, Steph Curry made a highlight video of him, and Jordan Poole nailed a huge step-back three-pointer over him.
All of it was lost because of the exchange between Lee and JaMychal Green in the last minutes of the fourth quarter. Green and Lee went head-to-head down the court with one minute and a half remaining in the contest and the Warriors leading by 15 points. In the previous possession, there had been a little altercation between Lee and Poole, and Green was telling Poole about it.
Lee then made an attempt to push Green. Lee flew backwards as a consequence, and Green flexed more forcefully as he kept shouting and moving forward. Who was in authority over here was evident. The Warriors big man was then elbowed by Lee as he surged by Green, and towards the end of the action, Lee pushed Moses Moody to the ground.
The last straw was when Lee shoved Green as JaMychal approached Moody’s side to lift him up. To stop Green, he required the help of his teammates, coaches, Suns players, and officials. I had had enough. The 32-year-old was prepared to take action because, at heart, he is a guardian.
In reality, I simply reacted,” Green said following the Warriors’ practise on Tuesday. “I just responded after seeing them start fighting. I’m not sure how to explain. It’s simply the heat of the moment. \s” We had been defeated by them this year. We now have a must-win mentality in every game. I’m prepared to go because it’s like playoff mode.”
When Green agreed to a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Warriors this summer, he made it plain how he thought he would fit in. That had nothing to do with his shooting skills. not even his rebounds.
It wasn’t the defence that came up initially.
More than anything, Green wanted to reveal to Dub Nation the inner-dog. He was eager to take on the role of the Warriors’ go-to nasty player. What Green enjoys most about the game is competing to keep plays alive, laying out for stray balls, and standing up for teammates.
He uses it as fuel on the court.
For me, it’s enjoyable, Green remarked. “These past two or three games, I believe I’ve begun to enjoy myself again. All you have to do is enter the competition. Put everything on the ground.”
For Green, the season hasn’t gone as he had hoped. He took his time getting used to the new system at first. Then he missed a month of work due to COVID-19 and a leg infection. After his comeback, Steve Kerr experimented with the rotations and playing style, and he found himself in and out of the starting lineup with a few DNPs.
Even in his tenth season, Green started telling himself that he is fortunate to be living his goal every day despite the ups and downs. His attention shifted from looking for solutions to concentrating on what he can really manage. He has been able to play freely thanks to his mentality, and the results are evident on the court.
After a dismal five-game road trip, Green provided Golden State with winning minutes in the Warriors’ 2-0 homestand. He had 18 points, six rebounds, a block, and four three-pointers in the Warriors’ victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime. He then scored nine points, seven rebounds, a block, and a further three points on Monday against the Suns.
The figures are available. The grit has existed and will continue to exist. His coaches and teammates are aware of his performance and seasoned presence. Green’s tenacity has most impressed Kerr.
J-Mych has been fantastic, said Kerr on Tuesday. “Early in the season, things didn’t exactly go his way. I gave him some challenging combos to experiment with. We were experimenting with lineups, and I didn’t give him the best chance of succeeding. He’s endured. \s” He has just stuck with it, and recently, he has been excellent. Of course making the baskets, but also showing grit and guts. And absolutely, as we witnessed last night, you want a man who will support his teammates. J-Mych has offered that, which is fantastic for team cohesion and morale.”
Green had a poor 3-point shooting percentage last year (26.6 percent). Yet he was playing with a gruelling wrist injury at the time. The Warriors knew the 6-foot-8 stretch big could still damage them from a distance because they had seen it happen before.
Only 23.1% of his three attempts were successful in October. Then, in November, he had a 16.7% three-point shooting percentage. Yet, that percentage increased to 38.9 percent in December. Despite only participating in three games in January, he made 4 of 8 3-point attempts.
He shot 3-pointers at a rate of 46.2% in the previous month and 50% (11 of 22) in March.
Donte DiVincenzo described Green’s ability to make 3-pointers as “important” on Tuesday. “Our guards can move downhill when they’re scared about him making threes on the pick-and-pop. If we go downhill and tear down the defence, we can kick, swing, drive again and that’s when we get anything we want. \s” Brook [Lopez] was seated in the paint during our game against Milwaukee. When JaMychal made his threes, it drove them to move a little bit farther away, which in turn made the paint more accessible in the second half.”
Green is now hitting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc for the Warriors, despite a poor start. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that.
Green has gained respect among NBA players for his soft-spoken demeanour and his deep, commanding voice. He entered the league undrafted in 2014 out of Alabama and has since played for over ten years. Green has two trades under his belt and three distinct 10-day contracts.
The Warriors are his sixth organisation, and they’ve had their sights on him for years. The newest member of Dub Nation is in playoff mode and demonstrating how his bite can match his bark.
DiVincenzo said when questioned about Green’s toughness, “I think the key thing is, he still is that — whether he’s playing or not. Many people flock to him as the game starts to heat up, yet he may not even be aware of his influence. He has everyone’s support. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on or off the court.”
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