Draymond Green likes being the smart guy, and in his defense, he usually is. The end of Warriors-Spurs on Monday night was just one conspicuous exception.
Down by three with 8.7 seconds on the clock, Green caught the inbound pass. Almost instantly, Green, who is a hair under 20 percent from three on the season, shotputted a 31-footer with Derrick White in his grill.
After the game, the Warriors forward explained the rationale behind what he called the “smartest dumb play in history.”
“I assumed he was about to foul,” Green said, assuming he had Spurs coach Gregg Popovich figured out. “Pop is known for fouling in those situations, [White] had his hands out, and I also knew we didn’t have any more timeouts.”
“Probably should’ve held on to it and just took the foul, and let it turn into a free throw game, but it is what it is.”
This was all premised on the idea that a foul was definitely coming. Was it? Denying Steph Curry the ball and asking Green to do something off the bounce against either White or Dejounte Murray seemed like a perfectly good plan for San Antonio. (One bigger-brained possibility is that the Spurs expected the Warriors to expect a foul; credit White with the body control to bait Green into chucking before yanking his arms back.) Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t even agree with Green’s read on Popovich’s tendencies, but took the heat for it anyway.
“It’s probably my fault for not informing the team that the Spurs don’t usually foul,” Kerr said. “We knew we had 8.7 seconds to drive and kick— plenty of options with that kind of time—and so we were just trying to spread the floor and get a good look.”NBC Sports Bay Area
Instead: a shot that was lucky to hit glass, with 5.6 seconds left on the clock. Bellissimo! The Spurs won, 105-100.