Draymond Green: Warriors need new approach to Ja Morant-less Grizzlies

The Warriors have their hands full with a scrappy Memphis Grizzlies team that will not go away quietly.

After a Game 3 rout at Chase Center, Golden State struggled in Game 4 but managed to squeak out a last-minute win. Their struggles continued in a Game 5 blowout, losing to the Grizzlies 134-95 at FedExForum.

Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant sustained a knee injury in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Ever since then, Memphis has become a much-different team and the Warriors have struggled to adjust. On the latest episode of “The Draymond Green Showthe Warriors forward explained why Golden State must approach the Grizzlies as if they are a completely new team moving forward.

“Tonight got away, it got a little out of hand pretty quick,” Green said. “We played decent in the first quarter. Not great, but it was okay. But it got out of hand and I think for us, what we have to realize is this is not the same team we were playing to start the series. And you almost have to make the adjustment in this series, for us, as if we’re starting an entirely different series.

“You go from series to series, your pick-n-roll coverage may be one thing in the series before and then you change it the following series. That’s kind of where we’re at now, like you kind of have to re- think the whole game plan because our game plan was built around Ja Morant. And it’s not that anymore and they’re a totally different team, they’re a totally different team without Ja.”

Just like Steph Curry, Morant and his gravitational pull on the court is at the center of the Warriors’ game plan. Without him, Memphis is free to spread the ball around, which can complicate things for Draymond and the Warriors.

“More guys touch the ball, you gotta account for more guys on a normal basis when Ja isn’t on the floor,” Green added. “They’re also a different team defensively when Ja isn’t on the floor and that’s something that’s been understated as well. Like you’re putting Ja into actions and other things like that and you’re not really doing that now defensively because they have like-sized guys, they’re switching things and different stuff of that nature.

“We have to approach this next game as an entirely different series and what adjustments are we making from series to series and approach this next game like that, because that’s just a totally different team than we were playing and the game plan that we had. “

RELATED: Brooks admits playing like ‘trash’ after lackluster Game 5

Just one win away from punching their ticket to the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors will have an opportunity to bounce back from the ugly loss in front of the home crowd on Friday at Chase Center.

Until then, it’s back to the drawing board.

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