The Golden State Warriors are about to line up for their 11th straight NBA Christmas Day game as they travel to Colorado to face the Denver Nuggets. Amidst the anticipation around the fixture, a suspended Draymond Green has made the headlines all over again. A 2021 rant from the 33-year-old has recently resurfaced adding a different layer of excitement to the matchup.
On the occasion, the team had to travel to Arizona to go up against their Western Conference rivals, the Phoenix Suns. It resulted in him missing out on a second consecutive Christmas with his family, something he was infuriated about during the post-match conference. “I have a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old. I wanna spend some time at home with my kids too,” he mentioned.
Following this, the 4x champion publicly downplayed the importance of the matchup. He cited an away game against the 2021 NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks as the only logical explanation behind traveling on Xmas. Draymond stated, “We’re not playing against the defending champion. We’re playing against the defending champion, you understand. But we’re not”.
At the time, countless fans around the league construed Green’s comments as disrespectful towards the Phoenix Suns, and the NBA as a whole. The popular rationale amongst the NBA community seemed to be that the star was earning a fortune, so he had little room to complain. However, no matter how much a person may earn, family is important to everyone. So, it was just a bit harsh to criticize the player, when he was only venting about his desire to see his family more often.
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Two years later, both his wishes seem to have come true. The Dubs now face a daunting challenge against the league’s current defending champions, the Denver Nuggets. However, Green’s indefinite suspension from the NBA will keep him away from the court after his awful swing at the Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic.
As for the rest of the Warriors, they would prefer to extend their 5-game unbeaten streak while simultaneously improving their Christmas Day record. With a 6-4 record on these festive-day games, the team could test their limits further without Draymond. However, given that Draymond Green was the main option to guard Nikola Jokic in prior meetings, it is likely that he will be sorely missed.
The Golden State Warriors embrace a demanding challenge with Draymond Green
Despite an inconsistent start to the regular season, the organization has recovered well in the past few matches. With a 15-14 record in this campaign now, they still have the possibility of entering the playoff race. Amidst the array of opportunities, however, the team is faced with multiple question marks.
A huge concern among them is the apparent off-form of Stephen Curry on Xmas. Three of the Warriors’ six victories in the last 10 came without their talisman. The point guard himself is on a 4-5 run on Christmas days due to his poor shooting on the special day.
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For the upcoming game, the roster needs their 2x MVP to step up the most. At the same time, without Draymond, they need different solutions to diminish the effectiveness of the opposition’s 2x MVP. As concerns cloud the minds of the Bay Area faithful, the team aims to answer them on the basketball court.