Warriors Not Worried About Draymond Losing Control: ‘He's Matured'

OAKLAND -- If you're worried about Draymond Green screwing up this postseason, the Warriors believe you're wasting your worry.

If you fear Green's game will be overtaken by his emotions in, that he's destined to tangle with officials or opponents, may your fears be eased.

That's what the Warriors say, for several reasons, including the robust yet calming presence of David West.

It's also supported by recent evidence.

After gaining a measure of infamy last postseason with a couple altercations that ultimately resulted him being suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Green this season has better harnessed his high-velocity nature. One example is being assessed with 14 technical fouls, two short of the threshold for a one-game suspension.

"He's matured from then until now," says West, a 14-year veteran who signed with the Warriors last July.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr agrees and doesn't expect an encore of last season, which left Green blaming himself and his firebrand ways for the Warriors not repeating as NBA champions.

"Draymond knows," Kerr said. "I think he's grown so much since last year, in so many ways. I see the maturity in his leadership and the way he behaves on the court. I don't think it's any coincidence that he got 14 technicals this year."

Green on several occasions has waded toward a potential technical foul call, only to back off in the nick of time. It can be a dangerous game inasmuch as there is little question he less latitude than most All-Stars.

Some of that restraint goes back to last May and June, when technical fouls and flagrant fouls in altercations with Oklahoma City's Steven Adams and Cleveland's LeBron James put Green on the league's naughty list and also on the Warriors bench.

Some of it is a result of natural maturity on the part of Green, who turned 27 last month and was on hand in December to welcome the birth of Draymond Jr.

No doubt, though, that West has been influential.

"He's helped me a lot -- on and off the court," Green says. "He's such a brilliant guy. He's well rounded. He's helped me a lot with everything -- emotionally, with leadership, seeing different things with the game. Figuring different things out.

West plays with an intensity level similar to that of Green but has learned to temper it. West simmers but doesn't boil over. Green sees this. Saying West has helped him with "channeling that, about knowing when to use that, knowing how not to let it work against me," Green credits the respected veteran.

"He's helped me a ton," Green says.

West has played with more than 100 different teammates, none of which was as demonstrative as Green.

"He's edgy and it makes him who he is," West says. "He's had great success, and you don't want to take that away from him. That's what makes him unique.

"It's just about him having that control, knowing when to rev it up and pull it back -- and (us) being able to snap him out of it. Sometimes, he gets so gone that you've got to be able to pull him back. For the most part this year, he's done a better job of knowing when he's getting to close and knowing when to scale it back."

Green's availability and impact are crucial to the Warriors playing at their peak. He's their backbone on defense, an igniter on offense and, quite simply, the soul of the squad.

He's needed, and nobody needs to review Game 5 of 2016 Finals to be reminded.

"He knows he can't put himself in the same position that he did last year," Kerr says.

"And, yet, we need him to play with that edge. And it's a fine line. We need his fury. We need his passion. But I really believe in Draymond as a person, first of all, but just in his growth and what's he's been able to do over the last year. And I think that'll show."

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