With 9:34 left in the game on Wednesday night, Draymond Green attempted to take a charge against Julius Randle. He got hit below the belt and stayed on the ground longer than usual because he was justifably experiencing some discomfort.
When he found out he was called for a blocking foul, the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year lost his temper and yelled in frustration.
But Draymond channeled his anger over the next couple of minutes and made plays like this:
Pretty decent defensive possession from Draymond Green right here pic.twitter.com/kuSnLs5gfk— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 1, 2018
"You just find energy in different things. You direct your energy towards different things," Draymond told reporters after the win. "That's been a point of emphasis for me this year -- to not waste all my energy arguing with the referee about the call. It's not gonna change."
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Through nine games, Draymond has only one technical foul to his name. Through the first nine games last season, Draymond picked up three technicals. He was also ejected on Oct. 27 vs Washington for fighting with Kelly Oubre and subsequently fined $25,000.
In early January, he said the solution to defusing the tension between the players and referees was to, "Get a new crop (of referees), a whole new crop. Too many personal things going on. Too much me against you. It just don't work that way."
Clearly, he's in a much better mental space right now, and some of that has to do with adopting a new outlook towards the regular season in general. As a team, the Warriors are focusing on joy and having fun as opposed to the grind of chasing another championship.
Against the Pelicans, Draymond delivered his best defensive performance of the season. He contested 15 shots overall (he entered the game averaging 9.75). Here's an example:
Draymond Green entered last night's game contesting 5.5 3-pointers per game. He contested 8 vs the Pelicans (this contest on Anthony Davis was fantastic) pic.twitter.com/KkxoYA6CTp— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 1, 2018
Thus far, he isn't letting a bad call here or there impact his effort.
"So just turn the page to the next play and try to make something else happen," Draymond added. "I was able to do a little bit of that and it helped obviously keep the game in our favor."
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller