Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals came down to two plays that spelled doom for the Golden State Warriors, with starting power forward Draymond Green's disappointing performance being a key factor in putting the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. In fact, the game plan of Cavs coach David Blatt has been to completely ignore the 6-foot-7 Green -- who seems to have completely lost confidence in his shot.
In the crucial moments of Game 3's final period, Green was left wide open at the top of the arc with the chance to cut Cleveland's lead. Having missed 4 of his last 6 wide-open three-point attempts, he mistakenly elected to drive to the basket -- into the established defense of Cleveland's Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson.
While Green redeemed himself by getting the offensive rebound from his point-blank miss, he again figured in the ensuing possession when he and Stephen Curry had a bad case of miscommunitation during the pick-and-roll play. Curry expected Green to pop right back behind the three-point line after attracting double coverage, but Green stood still, leaving Curry's behind-the-back pass with no receiver.
Green has taken much of the blame for Golden State's two losses but believes the Warriors still have what it takes to win the NBA title -- if they play with urgency. "They are playing like a team desperate and needs something," Green told Yahoo Sports, referring to the Cavaliers. "And we are playing like a team that's not desperate and got something."
The usually high-spirited player pointed out that his team has to play with desperation, a state embodied by hustle plays. He pointed out the number of 50-50 balls the Cavaliers won during Game 3, singling out Cavs point guard Matthew Dellavadova as the first guy to always dive for loose balls. Green vowed to rally his team and exceed the effort shown by Cleveland's role players.
While Green’s struggles may be explained by a bad back that has been bothering him the past few outings, he offered no excuses, adding that everyone is banged up at this point in the season and players just have to play through the pain. The re-emergence of David Lee during the Warriors' fourth quarter rally also gives coach Steve Kerr another option for Game 4, given Green's recent offensive struggles and health problems.