OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Mark Jackson is considering a starting lineup change for Game 4.
Reading between the lines: Draymond Green might start Sunday.
Good. The Los Angeles Clippers have established through the first three games, even in losing one, that they are the superior team. Especially with starting center Andrew Bogut knocked out by a fractured rib, the Warriors can't match up to the talent and explosiveness of the No. 3 seed.
The Warriors' best hope is to change the tide. They've got to somehow get the Clippers off their game while igniting their own. Something to shake up this playoff series and reclaim the momentum.
It's a testament to him, and perhaps a knock to this roster, that most of the ways to do that involve the second-year backup forward out of Michigan State.
Can't figure out a way to slow down Blake Griffin, who is averaging 27.7 points per game on 61.8 percent shooting in the playoffs? Put Green on him.
"Absolutely," Green said. "I love the challenge. He's an All-Star, All-NBA power forward. It fuels me to be in a position to go against those type of guys. Shows what you're made of."
Need to step up the physicality, push back the bullies from Los Angeles and match their intensity from the start? Put Green in the starting lineup.
Want to bring some edge to the series, ruffle some feathers with hopes of luring the Clippers into an emotional meltdown? Send Green in there to mix it up.
Want to improve ball movement, spread the floor, force the tempo and get better screens for Stephen Curry? Green has helped in all those areas.
Green doesn't have David Lee's skills or Harrison Barnes' athleticism, but his heart and grit have earned him a spot in the hearts of Warriors fans and made him immeasurably valuable to Golden State.
Read between the lines: Green is making one of them expendable.
"Without him," guard Klay Thompson said, "I don't know where we'd be."
When you think about it, that's a major statement for a scruffy kid from Saginaw, Michigan, from whom nobody expected much.
He fell to 35th in the 2012 draft -- 28 spots behind Barnes, who on that draft night was celebrated as a Warriors' coup. Most of his rookie season, Green was an offensive liability as he couldn't shoot himself in the foot.
Still, Thompson's conclusion only echoes what fans and insiders have noticed all season.
It makes sense that Green is standing out in this series. The Warriors are going against two All-NBA talents in Griffin and Chris Paul, a ridiculous athlete in DeAndre Jordan and a veteran supporting cast led by Jamal Crawford.
You need an overload of intangibles to compete with the Clippers' talent.
Green is not scared of the vaunted Clippers. And he's not content with just letting his team get worked over.
"It's my job to bring the energy and intensity," said Green, 24, who single-handedly changed the tone of Game 3 in the third quarter, igniting the Warriors' comeback. "We didn't have it so absolutely I wanted to do something. I had to do something. Whatever it takes for me to spark something, I'm going to do it."
With no Bogut, Green is the Warriors' best interior defender and rebounder. He leads the team in blocks and defensive rebounds in the series, all off the bench. He's also fourth in scoring in the series with 10.3 points per game on 47.8 percent shooting, both significant upticks from his regular-season averages.
To be sure, he's foul prone. He'll turn it over trying to force the action, and he's been bricking his 3-pointers (2 for 11). The more he plays, the more his intangibles aren't enough and he is needed to make plays and score.
But he's game, as game as anyone on the roster. At this point, that makes him stand out on the Warriors' end.
It's going to take his type of resolve for the Warriors to slow the Clippers' momentum. It's going to require his level of aggression for Golden State to win Game 4 at Oracle Arena and even the series. It's going to warrant his kind of heart to pull off a second straight first-round upset.
Read between the lines: Green needs to be in the conversation when talking about the Warriors' future.
clippers lead warriors, 2-1
Game 1: Warriors 109, Clippers 105
Game 2: Clippers 138, Warriors 98
Game 3: Clippers 98, Warriors 96
Game 4: At Warriors,
12:30 p.m. Sunday, ABC
Game 5: At Los Angeles,
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, TNT, CSNBA
Game 6*: At Warriors,
Thursday, time TBD, CSNBA
Game 7*: At L.A., Saturday,
time TBD, TNT, CSNBA
* -- if necessary
Join staff writer Jimmy Durkin for a Game 4 Warriors-Clippers chat, starting at noon Sunday. Go to http://bit.ly/PB3Pds.
The gritty forward gives Golden State its best chance to slow Blake Griffin and beat the Clippers.