In mid-January, the Golden State Warriors sent forward Draymond Green to the IL with a calf and back injury, and he has not played since. The Warriors and Green anticipate he will return to the hardwood in three to four weeks.
The Warriors thought that two weeks of rest would help Green and his back injury, but it’s been five weeks since his initial diagnosis. Green has been nursing a bulging disk in his back, which manifested into a calf injury.
Green averages 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game this season. Although his stats are not exactly eye popping, he provides a menacing presence on the court. He’s the Warriors so-called enforcer and opponents know better than to rough up Steph Curry or Klay Thompson because they’ll have to answer to Green.
Green is one of the top defenders in the NBA and he can guard all five positions. He was one of the co-favorites to win the Defensive Player of the Year with Rudy Gobert. However, since the injury, Gobert is now the betting favorite at +130 odds to win DPOY and Green is second on the betting board at +200 odds.
Splash Brothers Return, But Green Out
As soon as Thompson returned to the lineup to the first time since the 2019 postseason, the Warriors took a bad beat with the Green injury. If the Warriors expect to go on a deep run in the postseason, they will need a healthy Green. Green missed 20 games this season, and the Warriors are 13-7 without him in the lineup.
The Warriors (42-17) have the second-best record in the NBA this season, and currently hold down the #2 seed in the Western Conference. They trail the Phoenix Suns by 6.5 games, but both teams are +425 co-favorites to win the 2022 NBA Championship according to a recent update by DraftKings.
Rookie Jonathan Kuminga saw increased playing time without Green in the lineup. Kuminga grew up in the Congo, but he moved to the United States at age 16 to prep for a potential basketball career. Instead of heading the collegiate route, Kuminga signed with NBA G League Ignite to play his gap year after high school.
After a slow start with the Warriors, but the rookie excelled in Green’s absence. Kuminga started a couple of games after he earned head coach Steve Kerr’s trust. In eight games in February, Kuminga averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He’s also shooting 60.3% from the floor.
Green Super Bowl Robbery
As if a back injury was not bad enough, Green had his house in Los Angeles burglarized during Super Bowl 56.
Green attended the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium to watch the LA Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in person. While he was at the big game and subsequent after-party, thieves pilfered $1 million in cash, watches, and jewelry from his home.
The NFL warned players and coaches on the LA Rams to increase security during the Super Bowl this year. There’s been a spike in crime in LA over the last year, especially in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Tinsel Town.
During the 2017 World Series, burglars broke into the home owned by Yasiel Puig from the LA Dodgers. Thieves stole a bunch of stuff while Puig played against the Houston Astros.