Benefit No. 2: Playing time for young players
Early on in the season, the storyline for the Warriors was how badly some of their veterans were playing. Klay Thompson has shaken off his slow start, and after a few fits and starts Andrew Wiggins seems to be regaining his stride. Then the story was Draymond Green, from the headlock to his supposed contrition to his indefinite suspension.
Since Green's suspension kicked in? The story has been the young players. After two years of unrealized hope, Jonathan Kuminga is putting together a dominant stretch of games as he has been elevated into the starting lineup in place of Green. His defensive intensity has been crucial for the Warriors, and his athleticism attacking the rim is unique not just on this team but in the league.
Brandin Podziemski is breaking the mold for what a Warriors rookie is capable of, playing significant minutes and filling Green's offensive role as a playmaker and cleaning the glass on both ends of the court. His defensive activity is already special on a team that has long thrived on the chaos they can create with turnovers.
Speaking of rookies, Trayce Jackson-Davis has carved out a rotation role as a backup center that probably wouldn't be there if Green was available to play. "TJD" is an effective rim protector already as a rookie, and his rebounding and finishing on offense have been a welcome addition.
If Green was playing 34 minutes per game, most of the minutes for those three young players would vanish in an instant. With the veteran forward shelved, the young players on this team have taken a major step forward.