Oakland – The New York Knicks continued their winning streak by beating the Golden State Warriors 119-104. Things fell apart early for the Warriors, especially when Draymond Green got ejected with 1:40 left in the first half.
Green was ejected before halftime on a disputed technical when he began yelling at his mentee and teammate James Wiseman. But it appeared he yelled at referee John Butler instead. Green is always yelling but its usually toward the rookie Wiseman who he’s taken under his wing this season.
“At halftime, Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake that (Butler) didn’t realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate, he thought he was yelling at him,” Steve Kerr said. “Obviously Draymond is one of our best and most impactful players so it hurt us but we were playing very poorly to that point.”
Wiseman has been getting feedback from Green all season and said the referee probably thought he was talking to someone on the Knicks but was still confused and found the call weird after the game.
“I was trying to get a post up but he threw it too early and just one of those moments where he was like catch the ball or something like that but yeah that’s all. Really,” said Wiseman. “I don’t understand the situation and, like, why the ref did that but I guess that’s basketball but I don’t really know… I was confused myself as well but it’s not no big deal at all.”
Wiseman added that the team was just out of sync tonight and will just have to bounce back and continue to build chemistry at practice. Things were looking bright until Green was called for a questionable, first technical foul in the second quarter.
Golden State started to get into a groove defensively until Green was ejected before halftime with the second technical foul. Kerr said after the game that Green’s ejection wasn’t the lone excuse for the poor defensive performance by the Warriors tonight.
“We had four fouls in the first 55 seconds of the fourth quarter,” explained Kerr. “So, we are who we are and I obviously have to do a better job. We are undisciplined. We have to find a way to defend without fouling, obviously.
Steph and Draymond are our leaders. If one of them is out or both of them are out it’s up to the entire team to pick up the slack and help us execute but we did not execute. We didn’t turn the ball over a ton, 10 turnovers total which is a really good number, but our shot selection – they must have blocked, felt like they blocked about 20 shots.”
“I think that was the main thing tonight,” said Andrew Wiggins. “Playing without fouling, it stops the ball, stops the play and they get free shots. Free shots, easy shots, gives them momentum, gives their guys rhythm and puts us in a tough spot.”
Although the Warriors remain in seventh place in the West after tonight’s loss, Kerr remained critical of the team. Golden State will head to Utah on Saturday night and hope to turn things around quickly.
“It is frustrating, it is not surprising,” Kerr said. “We haven’t proven anything. We are not a good team, we are 8-7. We are a mediocre team with a potential to be a good team and so good teams learn how to win with execution and defense and rebounding on nights when the ball is not going in the hoop you find another way to win so we aren’t that team yet so that’s the plan, to become that team.”
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