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The Wаrriors Cаn’t Let Drаymond Green’ѕ Antіcs Derаil Steрhen Curry’ѕ Brіllіance

Golden State’s season is teetering on the brink after the veteran forward was suspended indefinitely for his latest on-court incident. ROHAN NADKARNI 3 HOURS AGO

Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely after striking Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the head, the league announced Wednesday. Green was ejected from Golden State’s loss to Phoenix on Tuesday after rather bizarrely spinning and striking Nurkić in the side of the head. Green apologized after the game, saying the contact was unintentional and the result of trying to oversell a foul.


Green and Stephen Curry celebrate during a game against the Trail Blazers.

Jed Jacobsohn/AP

This will be Green’s second suspension of the season. He already served a five-game stint for putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold. His second punishment is the latest in a line of issues for the Warriors. For over a month now, from Green’s antics to bad basketball, Golden State’s season has been spiraling. And the bottom line is this:

The team can’t waste yet another year of brilliance from Stephen Curry, who is the franchise’s saving grace and by far the Warriors’ most redeeming quality.

Mannix: Draymond Green Still Hasn’t Learned His Lesson, and It Could Cost Golden State Its Season

Unfortunately for Steph, on top of the Green suspension, the play of both Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson has fallen off dramatically. (Thompson, for good measure, is also in a contract year.) Gary Payton II is injured. And younger players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are struggling to get important minutes late in games. After starting the season 6–2, the Dubs have gone 4–11 since. They’ve lost three out of their last four, they haven’t won two in a row since the first three days of November, and they’re currently sitting outside of the play-in in the Western Conference.

Curry has been sensational in spite of the chaos. He remains capable of being the best player on a championship team. But despite the machinations of the Mike Dunleavy Jr.-led front office in the summer, the Warriors haven’t done enough to support Steph. And they are running out of time to salvage this season.

Golden State can’t have another year be a wash with Curry at this level. This was supposed to be a season of good vibes. The Warriors seemingly never properly addressed Green’s punch of Jordan Poole last year, and that situation hung over a season that ultimately ended in the second round. Whatever potential there was for more was clouded by the fallout of the Poole incident.

Even after trading Poole away, the vibes haven’t been much better this year. Green is now on his second suspension. Wiggins and Thompson have been bafflingly bad. The coaching staff can’t seem to decide what it wants to do with Kuminga and Moody. This simply isn’t an acceptable working environment for a star of Steph’s caliber.

Green earned his second suspension of the season Wednesday after getting ejected from Tuesday night’s game against the Suns.

Rick Scuteri/AP

The Warriors need to be aggressive here. Everything should be on the table. Trade Wiggins? Trade Thompson? Trade Chris Paul’s expiring deal? Hell, trade Green? No one is sacred, and nothing should be off limits.

The second suspension of Green should only increase the urgency. Frankly, the front office can’t trust that he’s ready to be part of a championship run in the immediate future. And with the team already struggling on the court and now losing its best defender, the Warriors can’t sit still and let an already teetering season fully slip away. The number of great Steph years remaining is unknown, and the team can’t punt while one is happening.

Green’s suspension needs to be a wake-up call. It’s pushed the Warriors’ season closer to the brink much more quickly than expected. Golden State can’t panic, but this will be a defining moment for Dunleavy Jr.’s front office. Green’s blow to Nurkic has also dealt one to the organization. The Warriors can’t let Curry’s stellar play become collateral damage as a result.