Warriors’ Stephen Curry Praises Draymond Green: ‘He’s The Smartest Basketball Player I’ve Played With’ – NewsOpener

To say that Stephen Curry was impressed with Draymond Green’s playmaking against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night would be an understatement. Green tied a career-high with 19 assists against the Nuggets, and his pinpoint passing helped Golden State secure a convincing 118-97 victory. 

After the game, Curry heaped praise on his longtime teammate, as he referred to Green as a “master” of passing, and the “smartest player” he’s ever suited up with. 

“When he gets in a groove like that where he’s getting everybody involved, and having a Draymond-type night where scoring’s not really the difference-maker, it’s the way that he does the intangibles,” Curry said of Green, via ESPN. “And then makes everybody better by getting the ball on time, can finish off plays. He’s the smartest basketball player I’ve played with, and it shows in moments and games like tonight where he just finds a way to impact winning in his own way.

“The same way you feel like the game slows down and the rim looks huge,” Curry added. “Same way I guess if you’re at the top of the key or you’re making those decisions with the ball in your hands and you get somebody open. On-time and on-target passes, you kind of just seeing everything a little bit better, a little bit quicker. Execute the angle of the pass, speed of the pass, timing of the pass, whatever it is — he’s a master at it.”  

Just like Curry gets in a zone when he’s raining down 3s on an opponent, Green gets into his own zone when he’s picking apart a defense with his passing — like he did against Denver on Friday night. And just like Curry may take what is known as a “heat check” after connecting on a few shots in a row, Green will do the same in terms of testing the limits of his passing ability. 

“You definitely can find that zone and feel like you can make any pass,” Green said after the game. “Some of those crazy-ass passes you see me make, it’s like a heat check. You see a guy coming down from 35 feet and heat-checking that thing — I feel like that with my passes sometimes… I’m trying to heat check that thing and see if I can get it through a tight gap, but it’s fun. But when you’ve got guys hitting shots at that rate that guys were hitting shots today — timely cuts, backdoor cuts, making all the right reads and taking what the defense is giving them.”

Green has always been a great passer for his position, but this season he’s taken it to another level. Green is averaging a career-high 8.7 assists per game this season — an average that’s fifth-best in the entire NBA, and ahead of prominent passers like Luka Doncic, Ben Simmons, and Kyrie Irving. Sure, Curry’s otherworldly shooting ability may be the most enticing reason to tune in to Warriors games, but Green’s precision passing is a close second. 

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