Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is a fan of the way NBA games have been called this season following some offseason tweaks to the rules that discourage offensive players from seeking out contact. Green explained that watching offensive players go out of their way to make contact with defenders had sapped some of the enjoyment out of watching the game for him, but now thanks to the rule changes he’s back on board.
“Can I also say how satisfying it’s been to watch the game of basketball without all those bullshit calls,” Green said after Golden State’s 103-82 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night, via ESPN. “I’m sorry, I’m not supposed to curse in interviews, right? Can I say how satisfying it is to watch the game without all those terrible calls. Guys cheating the game and grabbing guys and getting the foul. I’ve been really enjoying watching basketball this year.
“I kind of had stopped watching the NBA a bit because it was just too flailing and flopping and guys cheating the game and getting free throws. So I think that’s been great. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that because I think that’s been fantastic.”
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Green, whose Warriors are now 5-1 and atop the West standings, thinks the game is “flowing better” this season, and a couple of weeks in it’s difficult to disagree with him.
“And I think you’re seeing much better basketball. You’re not seeing 147 to 139,” Green said. “I think I saw the Celtics and Washington went to double overtime and the final score was maybe 104-102 or something like that. We went to overtime the other day, the final score was 104-101 and there’s great basketball taking place. So kudos to the NBA on that. It’s been great to see.”
Warriors guard Steph Curry agreed with Green regarding the rule changes, going as far as calling it “great for the game.”
“I’ve been watching around the league and for the most part, I’d say about 9 out of 10 calls that used to go the other way are not, for good reason,” Curry said. “There’s probably some that are still in that gray area where they’ll get more consistent, but it’s great for the game. I know a lot of fans are loving it. The defensive-minded players are loving it, for us to put the ball in the basket, focus on that. I’ve tried to my entire career so I don’t think it’s a huge adjustment, but I like it.”
The Warriors stars aren’t alone in their opinion. Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma recently took to Twitter to show support for the changes. “The new rules changes to the sport are the best thing the league has done in recent history,”
Kuzma wrote. “Watching the game Is muuuuuch different.”
Not everyone is in agreement about the rule changes, however. Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, a player who has been impacted by the changes in a major way given his penchant for trying to seek out contact from defenders, recently expressed some frustration about the way games have been called so far this season.
“I don’t want to get fined too much, but it’s frustrating,” Young said. “There’s a lot of missed calls. It’s basketball. It’s just, it feels that they’re learning, and they’re just — I don’t know. It’s frustrating.
“You can watch basketball. Damian Lillard’s never averaged 17 points probably since his rookie year,” Young added. “There’s a couple guys. I mean, [Devin Booker] is averaging 18. There’s a lot of things that, when guys are driving straight and guys are getting knocked off balance — it’s still a foul, whether they’re using their lower body or their hands.”
Clearly, the new rules will take some getting used to for some players across the league’s landscape. However, they’ve certainly made for a more pleasant viewing experience early on this season.