What D-Wade loves about Steph, Draymond and the Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Entering Tuesday’s slate of games, the Warriors sit atop the Western Conference with an 11-2 record, even after a frustrating loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday that saw their seven-game win streak come to an end. The Utah Jazz currently are 8-5 and the No. 5 seed in the West, but their minority owner spent Tuesday morning showering Golden State with praise.
OK, so, Dwyane Wade knows a thing or two about playing the game, too. Not just being a minority owner for a franchise he previously had nothing to do with. Thus far, he couldn’t be more impressed with what he has seen from this Warriors squad, especially Draymond Green.
“It’s beautiful watching them play basketball,” Wade said Tuesday morning on ESPN’s “First Take.” “As a fan of the game, to watch Golden State, the way that they share the wealth, the way that they share the basketball — I’ve gotten a better appreciation for Draymond Green since I’ve retired and really watched this guy.
“I mean, he’s a point guard. He is one of the best playmakers in the game.”
Listed as a power forward, the 6-foot-6 Green is a one-of-a-kind player who initiates the offense while also serving as a big man for the Warriors and often guards the other team’s best offensive player. His 7.1 assists per game lead the Warriors, as do his 8.1 rebounds. The same can be said for his 0.9 blocks per game.
Green also is averaging 8.2 points per game, his most since he was last an All-Star in the 2017-18 season. He has done this all while again playing like perhaps the best defender in the game.
But everything starts with Steph Curry, who looks to be right in the thick of a way-too-early MVP race.
“Steph Curry, he proved it last year, he’s proving it again this year,” Wade said. “He is one of the greatest to ever play this game. He’s on that Mount Rushmore from a standpoint of changing the game.”
Curry, Green and the rest of Golden State have a huge matchup later Tuesday against Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets. They’ll need to have major contributions from more than just the big names, and that’s also a component to the team that Wade has been impressed by.
“To see young guys like [Jordan Poole], to see [Gary Payton II] get his opportunity, those things right there, that’s what the sport is about,” Wade said. “And Steve Kerr is doing an amazing job of allowing those guys to play free … it’s just a place you want to be.
“It’s just basketball that you want to watch.”