Is this the year Draymond Green wins Defensive Player of the Year? He’s been in this debate for years now and some would say he should have one under his belt already. While that award hasn’t been added to his collection yet maybe this year will be his year.
Draymond’s versatility has been the strength of his career. He gets a lot of praise for how versatile he is on the offensive end but he’s just as versatile on the defensive end as well. Draymond Green is one of the rare breed of players who can defend the ball from the one position to the five. He has the ability to lockdown on the perimeter while also getting physical with the bigs in the paint. Green’s activity and aggressive nature plays a huge role in his defensive dominance. He communicates and plays as the free safety on one of the best defenses in the NBA.
The Golden State Warriors are the second best defensive team in the league with a Defensive Rating of 101.1 and a lot of that is due to their anchor, Draymond Green. For an undersized big, he wrecks havoc in the paint. Draymond is known as one of the best contesters at the rim. He uses his verticality well and holds a defensive percentage of 48.2% on shots within six feet of the basket. While Draymond is a beast inside, don’t sleep on his hands. As a forward, he leads the league in steals per game with 2.0 and he also averages the 2nd most deflections per game with 3.9. His up in your face mentality combined with his impressive defensive IQ puts him in the right position at all times.
Even with all of those previously mentioned stats, how does that correlate to wins? Well, the Warriors are the best team in the NBA with a record of 67-15. Draymond Green is ranked second behind Ruby Gobert in Defensive Win Shares with 5.4. He also has a Defensive Rating of 99.1 which is ranked 2nd and he leads the league in Defensive Box Plus/Minus with 4.9. Men lie, women lie but numbers don’t and the numbers back Draymond Green’s case for Defensive Player of the Year. He has great competition with the two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year in Kawhi Leonard and a close runner up in Rudy Gobert. However, all things point to Draymond Green this time around and he’s done more than enough to deserve it.