Why Stephen A. believes Draymond's absence good for his brand


If one thing has been made clear throughout the Warriors' losing streak, it is just how important Draymond Green is to Golden State's success. 

They miss him badly. That was clear right away. 

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes that throughout his absence on the court, Draymond's brand has only improved over the last couple of months, as many have come to realize -- if they hadn't already -- that he is absolutely vital to what the Warriors aim to accomplish. 

"The best thing that has happened to the brand that is Draymond Green is him being out," Smith said Monday morning on First Take. "Because we realize now how important he is to this franchise. Defensively, they would be significantly better with him on the court. There is no denying that. When he is on the court healthy, Draymond Green is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate pretty much every year. He is that elite, he is that intelligent of a basketball player.

"His leadership ... in terms of culture and what's lacking in Brooklyn. Nobody would ever say that in Golden State. Because the one thing you know about Draymond Green is, no matter how emotional he is on the court and he has to monitor arguing with the refs and getting technical fouls, I've seen it up close and personal, him holding players -- one player after another - accountable for making sure they fulfill their collective responsibilities on the basketball court, knowing their assignments, knowing what they're supposed to do."

In the Warriors' case, distance certainly makes the heart grow fonder. 

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ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that the Warriors are expecting Draymond to return in seven-to-10 days, which would come at the perfect time. 

Having lost four straight games and slipping to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, Golden State needs a boost and needs one badly. 

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