Dunleavy injects confidence, positivity into Warriors outlook, Draymond suspension
You know I’m all about the behind-the-scenes here at LGW and with Mike Dunleavy, Jr. offering himself up to reporters at morning shootaround at UCLA before the GSW-LAC game on Thursday, then Tim Kawakami’s great podcast with Dunleavy that was recorded after morning shootaround but was released Friday, we got a great look inside the Warriors organization.
I highly encourage everyone in DubNation to check out both, but quite honestly the Kawakami podcast gave me a renewed sense of confidence in the franchise, confidence which has obviously been tested by the sub-par win-loss record, the poor play from the starting five, and of course the Draymond Green suspension, which I covered in-depth in the previous article.
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The irony here is that the podcast episode effectively obliterates the thesis of Kawakami’s previous article which raised a question as to whether or not the Warriors should move off of Green. Dunleavy doesn’t seem like he’s even remotely close to giving up on Dray. To peel the onion just a little bit, TK doesn’t think Draymond can change, whereas it’s quite clear from Dunleavy: he thinks Dray can. I think anyone can change, but as far as completely, it will take longer than the five to six months that remain this season, although I do think Green can make vast strides in this amount of time — still at risk of an on-court outburst in this window, though.
My favorite parts of the podcast have to do with Dunleavy and the organization’s bent towards collaboration, positivity, understanding and patience. It really felt like Steve Kerr had a hand in all this, as the way that Dunleavy explained everything is the same vibe I have gotten whenever I’ve stepped foot into Oracle Performance Center, the practice facility at the basement of Chase Center. I’m connecting the dots in that sense.
Overall, Mike mentioned Joe Lacob a lot, in terms of the willingness to spend money. Dunleavy straight up said they don’t expect to do anything aggressive at the trade deadline because they think this roster can win this season’s championship. I thought the best part was the end when Kawakami always asks for the guest’s favorite book, TV show, or restaurant. MDJ (that’s Mike’s initials that we have been using a lot on social media) kind of answered with a nice overlap, saying he has been watching “The Bear”, a TV show about a chef and all the crazy things that happen in a kitchen.
Dunleavy said it reminded him of the Warriors’ war room during the Draft or how trades go down, where you might be screaming your head off to prove a point before the clock strikes zero, but yet there’s still this sense of mutual respect and professionalism.
And so that podcast, which again is all listed out below, is one of my favorites just because of all the behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Most importantly, there was an air of positivity and confidence. And dare I say, Mike tends to give more information than Bob Myers did, because Myers always sort of danced around the core answer everyone wanted to hear, but in a calming, appreciative, touching-all-bases way.
Frankly, I like Dunleavy’s style better — remember, I’m all about information (not entertainment). I’ve been covering the Warriors daily for now over ten years straight — you won’t see one iota of any of the Stephen A. Smith tirades on LGW’s platforms because that’s almost entirely theater. Kerr would be wise to ignore him from this point forward. Smith is looking for a back-and-forth. Funny, he’s the epitome of that Xitter app.
But back to the main thing, first of all it appears from the morning shootaround scrum that MDJ reached out to the league and suggested that an indefinite suspension and counseling would be the best way to move forward. You could say that Dunleavy may have saved the team for the long-term by “helping out, giving assistance” to Green rather than wait around for a number to be dropped. This strategy probably made Adam Silver and Joe Dumars a little less outraged by the latest altercation with Jusuf Nurkic.
Which brings me to the replay. I said on the GSW-LAC livestream Thursday night that it looked a lot worse the second time I saw it. Kawakami said the same thing and tweeted on Friday, “In slow motion it looks worse. After the first replays, I thought (mostly still think) it was just reckless throwing his arms around. He didn't care if he hit Nurkic. That's bad but different than intending to hit Nurkic in the face. Slow motion makes everything look intentional. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. But it looks like everything is pre-planned because ... well ... we're watching it way slowed down.”
Can you imagine when Silver got the call from Dumars — and I am of the firm opinion that Silver was not watching because he doesn’t love the game like that (my bad if I’m taking an unfair shot at him, it’s just a reminder of my overall theory of why the refs are all terrible) — the look on Adam’s face?
Another thing that happened today was Ryan Clark, former NFL safety who is now an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster with ESPN, made some newsworthy comments about Draymond’s impending therapy and how Clark thinks he doesn’t need it for the on-court stuff. That bullet point is also attached below.
I’m just happy Clark’s viral clip is re-amplifying the fact that what Draymond did was nowhere near as morally wrong as what Ja Morant and Kyrie Irving did, so I’m curious to see what the final number of games will be from the suspension. However, I do realize this might be comparing apples to oranges because, as Dunleavy has now educated us on, this will take as long as it needs to take for Draymond to get right — irrespective of Morant and Irving.
Below that, we also have some pregame notes and video from Crypto.com Arena where Kerr also gave an impassioned explanation of Green’s self-improvement coming up. Steve also mentioned it another time at pregame of BKN-GSW, but we’ll cover that in tomorrow’s post.
I still haven’t gotten around to that Brandin Podziemski insider-y article for paid subscribers only. That is on deck. But I also don’t mind peppering his name here and there because he deserves it.
DUNLEAVY AT SHOOTAROUND
0:00 Mike Dunleavy after Warriors shootaround before GSW-LAC [lightly edited]: “ All right, well, I guess I'll just start with, everybody saw the news yesterday with Draymond, being suspended indefinitely. I think it's something that we worked with the league, his representation, Draymond, just to kind of talk through and figure out. We think it's the right solution right now. I think everybody obviously wants definite answers and length and all that stuff. But I think for what's best for us and Draymond and everybody is, we help him with the appropriate amount of assistance and then we judge and base it on his comeback depending on, when, when the right time is. So it's indefinite truly means indefinitely.
And so, I'll kind of leave it at that as far as getting into the specifics of. what that's going to look like and all, a little of it's a privacy thing, a little of it's, team policy that we don't get into that stuff. So, we'll continue to help him with things and, moving forward, we got a team that's, pretty good basketball team.
I think the record doesn't reflect that right now, but we've got good depth. We've got a great player in Steph Curry is still elite. And so, we just are looking to turn things a little bit here where get things going and, turn the corner. But, um. Overall, I think yesterday was a long day.
It's been a long 48 hours, but I think today we're in a good place and, got a game against the Clippers tonight. We'll see, see how we do.”
1:16 Mike, how do you ensure that something actually changes? Because, I mean, Draymond's been suspended before. Last season, after the Jordan Poole incident, he took some time away to work on himself, but nothing seems to have really changed.
Yeah, I think nothing in this world is promised or certain, so I can't guarantee you that. I can just, I can just say we'll continue to do the right things to help him. I think we've, we've done a decent job of that in the past and we'll continue to work through it and, we've got a lot of parties involved that are, the biggest thing here to me is not a punishment.
It's just, it's just, just helping, helping out, giving assistance. And, we all agree on that, which is good. That's, that's Draymond, that's the league, that's us. And, I'm, I'm, I'm optimistic we'll get there, but. But to your question, there's no guarantees.
2:00 Will he be with the, like, practicing and around the team?
Yeah, I mean, I think for us, the thought process is, I think there's a lot of ways you can go about this, but I think we think, for now, the healthiest thing is for him to be around. And, that it may not be every single day, but we're not jettisoning the guy off somewhere…
2:19 There's, it's assumed that he will return soon, later?
He'll be back when, it's the right time. and that's something that we'll all consider the league, Draymond, us. it's, Steve and I were just talking like anybody that has an amount of games or time suggested or in their head. I'm just telling you right now is wrong because we don't, we don't have that. I don't think Draymond has that. I don't think the league has that. So anything beyond that is hearsay.
2:47 How much does this impact your long term?
Yeah, I mean, I think the bigger impact will be, how we do the next 15, 20 games, and that'll probably determine, where we go more than this, this specific incident or this time away for him. the reality of the situation is, if you're evaluating Draymond, his ability this year has been great, his availability is not.
And so, we need him more available, because when he plays, he's really good, we're really good. And, that's, that's the main thing. I don't think I need any more evaluation of Draymond as a player. We need a little bit more evaluation on this team, and the chemistry, and the lineups, and all that.
But, from a basketball standpoint, honestly, pretty pleased with Draymond. We want to help him be on the court more, though.
3:38 As you said, the next 15 20 games is kind of critical. If Draymond misses a good chunk of that, does it make it harder to evaluate, other decisions with the roster?
I don't think so, just because I'm assuming him as a huge positive. And so you plug him back in, I think things will be pretty good. so where are we at without him is something I want to evaluate. Get an opportunity to see some of these other guys play some more. look, this team was built. around great depth.
We've got really good depth that's enabled us to stay in and be really competitive in a lot of these games. When we've missed guys, whether it's Gary Draymond, Steph's missed some games, Chris has missed some games. So one of the strengths of this team beyond Steph Curry is the depth and, we'll continue to lean into that and, we'll see how it goes.
4:18 How would you characterize the conversations you've had with him since the suspension was handed down?
Very open, but positive. I think this is, something that a lot of people may see as a problem, but we're looking to turn it into a positive. It's at a point in his career and his life where, we want to get some things straightened out, and, maybe sometimes you need a jolt like that, but, I think it's been very positive, very open, and And, extremely optimistic we can get to where we need to go.
4:44 With how important he is to this team, I mean, just how frustrating and disappointing is it that, again, he's going to be missing, unspecified, but a longer, amount of time?
Yeah, I mean, obviously it's not ideal. He means so much to this team and organization. His presence in games and being around is huge. We'll miss that on the floor every night and, again, he'll still be around the team. So, he'll be there, but when you're not playing the games, it's not the same. So, so we're going to miss that. But, like I said, we'll lean into our depth. We've got to look, we've got a lot of guys playing really well.
That's the good news. we got some guys that we need to play better, but overall, Steve's got a lot of ways to go to get this thing right. And I think we can.
5:24 What is your overarching view though of this team? 10 and 13. You mentioned the guys struggling are important guys.
Yeah. I mean, I think the overarching view is that there's two things I feel are certain. Steph's still elite and we've got great depth. And from there, I think we just kicked some games away. You guys have seen it, whether it's late game situations, execution, things like that. I mean, the last four road games we've had against good teams, we've had double digit leads and we squandered them. So it's not like we're getting beat by 25 points.
I think that'd be a different thing, a different feeling if we were. so, look, I think we're right there, but at some point our record is gonna have to change. We're gonna have to creep past .500 and start winning some games, and if not, then we gotta re evaluate.
6:06 When you say re evaluate, is that, like, potentially big changes? I mean, you have, obviously, a tax bill that's crazy. Like, what is the re evaluation?
I mean, the re evaluation is, can we make the team better? that's always the case. And, with, with, with Joe Lacob of this ownership group, it's always about being better. There's a, there's clearly a willingness to spend. they always okay that. And so for us, it's, it's finding a way to make the team better specifically this year.
6:31 How surprising has it been just seeing the starting lineup struggling yet the young guys on the bench? Being such a bright spot, it's been kind of the opposite of what maybe a lot of people expected.
Yeah, I mean, the young guys on the bench has not been a surprise. The starting lineup, which has been the best in basketball for the last couple years, frankly, yeah, that's been a surprise. I thought we'd be better there, sure up our bench, and we'd have a really good, we would have a really good team. it hasn't really necessarily played out that way. But, I think there's still combinations and lineups out there we can put that will kind of right the ship and get things right. And I think Steve will start experimenting with that.
7:04 You're on year one of a four year deal with Draymond. I mean, is, is it still the organization's expectation that this is a long term partnership with Draymond?
Yeah, I think so. we're committed to him. He's been here for a long time. He's hung a ton of banners and means so much to this organization. And, like I said before, I think this is about, turning this thing into a positive and getting better. And so I think that happens and, we feel really good because, again, his play has been terrific.
it's just been his lack of a, lack of availability that's, that's not been great and we want to make that better. So the league has made it, like, very clear, like, any incident come with a pretty stiff punishment. Even once he does come back, I mean, we know what the playoffs are like. There's flagrant fouls.
There's, there's various situations. What's the concern level that even when he's back, if there's a hard foul in the playoff game, he's, they're just going to say he's gone for the whole series. Yeah. I mean, that's part of the dance. We got to walk. I think that's part of the things we need to address.
But at the end of the day, his past, transgressions on the court, will lead to, harsher punishment. They've stated that that's just the case. He's got to be aware of it. But, hopefully we can Get him to a point where he's still the same high energy, competitive guy and in situations arise, he's got to, got to find a way to regulate that.
8:23 Going back to what you first said of, so when the league decided that it was indefinite, you guys had conversations with them. Was it just them telling you this is what it is and you agreeing or you guys like actively working together to figure out what the suspension looks like?
No, there is active collaboration. I reached out in a sense of, hey, we, we understand there's a punishment that's going to take place, but This is also about, supporting and helping somebody. And so, they 100 percent agreed, as did Draymond, his representation. So, we've all been on the same page. And, because you gotta work together in these things, as league rules permit. For us to have one thing and the league to have another and, crossing over and all that stuff. We all need to be on the same page in this one. I think we are.
8:06 What do you make of the rule that they have for Draymond specifically, and having to work around that? Do you think it's fair?
Sort of the standard that they hold him to in terms of when he commits a foul, he gets harsher punishment.
Yeah, I mean, I think that's, that's reasonable. in an effort to clean things up, they are harsher on past offenders, and those are the rules, and you gotta play by them.
9:31 How has this year been like for you?
This is year one in the sea. it's been a lot, but look, I've been around the league a long time. I think I know what I signed up for in terms of different things are gonna be coming at you. You can't predict specifically what they are, but fully, fully on board and good with what's going on. Totally.
look, I really feel good about this team and I'm working for a great organization. We've got really good players. again, not happy with the results, in terms of record, but I do think we're right there. And the next, next package of games here, we'll, we'll find out.
10:09 Do you, I mean, you mentioned the next 10 to 15, we'll, you'll reevaluate things. Do you think you'll be aggressive at the deadline regardless if the record's good?
If it's not, I mean, maybe it's a different strategy, but. Yeah, I think. I, I, I question as to whether to ever be aggressive. I think you got to be open and seek things and look at everything. And if something makes sense, you do it. But I would never do something just to do something. we've had a pretty good track record here recently with making positive deals where, we've been able to look out for a long term salary spending and acquire good players and we'll continue to continue to do that. Cool. Thank you.
KAWAKAMI x DUNLEAVY
• Spotify/Apple links
• Dunleavy article
• Draymond article
RYAN CLARK TWEET
The “hope Draymond gets the help he needs” talk has gone a bit far. We are speaking about Draymond Green as if he’s some degenerate. Players, coaches, & analysts are pointing him toward therapy because he has poor competitive impulse control. Draymond isn’t involved in domestic abuse, criminal activity, off court violence or skirting fatherly responsibilities. His life isn’t out of control. Let’s stop giving him the “need counseling” excuse and call it what it is. When you step on the court Draymond be an adult. Be a professional. You shouldn’t need counseling for that. Especially when you’ve proven to be just that in every other part of your life. [via Twitter link which includes a link to his YouTube episode]
GSW-LAC PREGAME INCL. KERR ON DRAY
POSTGAME KERR & KLAY ON DRAY
POSTGAME STEPH ON DRAY (AND BP)
IN-GAME GSW-LAC GAME NOTES
0:00 Dunleavy (+Billups!) and Kerr on Draymond today (busy day!)
1:30 Paul George is out tonight
3:00 some extra quotes on Draymond from Curry via Ramona Shelburne
4:45 starters include Podziemski and Kuminga for Wiggins and Draymond
7:00 I stayed up til 5am transcribing this: https://www.letsgowarriors.com/p/draymond-suspension-warriors-roster-bobby-marks PLEASE GO TO THE WEBSITE AND LIKE!
8:30 on me spending all night blocking Klay haters on the COMMUNITY
12:45 tipoff Looney won again! helped by BPodz
12m00 Q1 BP to Klay fly by 3
11m20 Q1 Klay passed up a heat-check
10m50 Q1 Steph to Loon but blocked by Zub
10m40 Q1 Klay steals Kawhi!
10m05 Q1 BP nice D on Harden
9m55 Q1 Klay miss, Loon oreb reload Klay and-1
16:30 I wrote that Warriors should be less arrogant and more humble (bball gods) and we just saw Klay be humble after the 3 and-1 (Jasmine: Draymond "I got my voice back" and then 3 ejections)
9m05 Q1 BP called for landing spot by Tony Brothers on baseline instead of Phenizee Ransom (almost 25 years of more exp)
8m35 Q1 Harden called off Zu to get 1v1 vs Steph, who stayed in front, Klay shaded over from Boston, JK reb and downhill finish 94ft
8m00 Q1 BP misses righthand late shot again
7m40 Q1 Harden beats BP and JK and Loon to Zu alley
7m33 Q1 Klay to Loon on attack
6m55 Q1 Steph blocked by Zu, stop underestimating him
6m30 Q1 Steph blocked by Kawhi, worse shot selection than Klay so far
29:15 looking at the veins popping out of Kawhi's shoulder lol (on FT)
5m15 Q1 Steph reaches in again (bad habit), Moody in for Klay, had been CP for BP and Wiggs for JK
5m00 Q1 Saric another tov
4m35 Q1 Moody throws the ball to the other team
3m40 Q1 no call Harden vs Saric
2m50 Q1 CP forces downhill via Saric P&R
2m07 Q1 BP hook shot via spin
1m30 Q1 BP throws the ball away to Theis, 3 by Russ
1m00 Q1 BP picked, Powell Euro and-1 vs Saric
0m45 Q1 Wiggs scores! crossover vs Powell
0m25 Q1 CP3 bad tov
11m15 Q2 BP another spin scoop good vs Theis
10m30 Q2 Wiggs blocks off the board!
10m05 Q2 Russ dunk via Klay leaving him
9m20 Q2 nice help on Harden by TJD vs Wiggs
9m00 Q2 CP chucks Theis, yells at TJD at the review, it's TJD's fault for not rematching on Theis -- Klay could've communicated better
8m20 Q2 TJD oreb Wiggs helps
7m15 Q2 BP steal bad pass Harden, Mo putback
7m00 Q2 Mo forgets about Powell base
6m55 Q2 Steph offensive foul vs Mann??
6m49 Q2 JK fouled on screen, called on him
6m30 Q2 Steph finally scores
6m00 Q2 Steph heat check over 2 guys
5m45 Q2 Loon reaches in on Kawhi
5m30 Q2 Loon throws the ball to the other team
5m12 Q2 Steph hero 3 no good
4m50 Q2 JK attacks Kawhi and-1 good (hero shot even though he didn't know it)
4m20 Q2 bad possession, Loon doesn't roll at the right time, JK spins the wrong way to Zu, CP doesn't attack Mann, Harden gets the Beard reach-in steal on JK
3m20 Q2 JK fouled by Mann no call (left arm)
2m55 Q2 Steph stands still with CP, travel
2m40 Q2 Klay good post D on Kawhi
1m46 Q2 Zu not set, steps into screen on JK no call, Harden fouled by Saric
1m00 Q2 JK charge, wish he had the stop jumper
0m40 Q2 Steph late to the circle on the charge attempt
1:16:30 what I would tweak: idk, maybe swap Loon and TJD in the rotation
1:18:00 analyzing the pbp to see where things went awry: CP's flagrant was in the middle of a 10-0 run after giving up two straight dunks (Brown/Russ)
1:22:45 analyzing some plays from the first half
11m50 Q3 Coffey 3 over Klay bad body language
9m40 Q3 JK covered the wrong guy on the box-out
7m50 Q3 Kawhi oreb over JK, 3 by Kawhi -- CRITICAL 50/50 BALL
6m50 Q3 mysterious defensive 3 call leads to 3 by LAC
6m15 Q3 lost Zu to a dunk (no Dray no GP2)
5m15 Q3 Steph misses 2x, dunk Kawhi on the reb
4m20 Q3 Steph to Wiggs trans dunk
3m20 Q3 Steph wheels around (missed by Wiggs)
2m25 Q3 CP finally scorer mentality 2 (we don't have Steph or Klay on the floor)
1m00 Q3 Saric attacked right when Mo got open (more chemistry)
0m35 Q3 Mo POA steal vs Russ, and-1 94ft
0m03 Q3 CP 3 off ball roll, 3 ball good via basketball gods this quarter, also zone was working
1:56:30 only 1 turnover in Q3, didn't foul too much, Steph has ZERO tov
11m55 Q4 Mo scores!
11m16 Q4 BP talks to Wiggs after the landing spot foul vs Harden
11m05 Q4 side ref calls foul for Saric when it should be base ref Brothers
10m00 Q4 BP orebs then Mo and-1 cut vs Harden
9m40 Q4 BP gets another oreb on own miss (but Wiggs tip over board) -- what hustle!
9m20 Q4 BP great D on Theis AND close out on Coffey -- DRAYMOND-ESQUE
9m00 Q4 CP burns Theis, timeout Lue
2:06:30 new era of GSW bball
8m35 Q4 Mo great D but Beard 3
8m10 Q4 Mo charge take on Harden, I now trust his POA
7m35 Q4 BP blocks Harden
7m10 Q4 BP blocked by Harden, Loon labors to get back, helps out too much
4m55 Q4 Klay good POA on Harden, then delivers to Loon, GRAVITY WORKS (can't fault Steve for taking Mo off)
4m00 Q4 BP takes another charge -- MOST CONSISTENT WARRIOR ALL SEASON
3m40 Q4 Loon stripped
3m15 Q4 Powell scores over CP, Klay upset
2m10 Q4 JK draws a foul on Zu
1m00 Q4 JK scores as Steph is not moving
0m40 Q4 Kawhi good grab oreb as Klay fends off Zu
2:35:30 looking back at Q3
2:39:00 on positivity, Amy's great comment
2:41:30 MOODY and CP3 CHANGED THE GAME IN THE SPAN OF 48 SECONDS
2:43:00 hot take adjustment: MAKE MOODY MORE OF A 3-4
2:46:00 another adjustment: play Trayce more at the expense of Loon who deserves a statue with his chemistry with the main guys
2:49:15 STEVE POSTGAME AUDIO
2:53:30 I think we saw tonight that we can really see the future of the franchise, just a few more reps with Steph and Klay (even without Dray)
2:54:45 DEAN CHAMBERS JOINS US: let's just have fun watching a basketball team, good to not care about the outcome, been loose without joy which was neurotic, microscope-focus no more, have more fun watching the team, maybe go small with JK at the 5, we're rebuilding on the fly, feels like 2021 right now, just let guys play and have fun
3:02:45 KLAY POSTGAME AUDIO
3:07:00 on no need to worry about trades until Jan, on Lue doing a good job of game-planning on Steph since 2016, and tonight
3:09:15 on Draymond's suspension, Gobert saying he has empathy, might see treatment of Dray by refs better in future
3:15:00 guys don't even want to take a charge vs JK
3:20:30 on Wiggs: when's the last time we got him an alley-oop, maybe run some plays for him?
3:24:00 on JK attacking and what it feels like to not know how to attack, forgetting to have fun
3:45:30 STEPH POSTGAME ON DRAY
4:00:00 on JK and BP rebounding
4:02:00 on BP being ranked No. 8 best rookie by Marks, who also said "could easily be Top 5" -- NO MORE CAM WHITMORE TALK LOL
4:21:00 maybe why JK wasn't the 5 small ball at the end was foul trouble? (4)
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