WarriorsHQ: Draymond Green the most innovative defensive player, not the most overrated
Andre Iguodala may have stolen the game and the show in Golden State Warriors’ Game 2 win against Portland Trail Blazers. But beat writers Dieter Kurtenbach and Mark Medina instead dissect the Warriors’ defensive performance in Game 2 against the Blazers to crush a notion of Draymond Green as the most overrated player in the NBA.
Defensive tactics don’t evolve as fast as offensive tactics, but ever since the Warriors started switching everything with Green-at-center lineups in Kerr’s first year as head coach, 2014-15, we’ve seen nearly every team in the league pick up the scheme.
Green, with his unparalleled ability to guard all five positions on the court — he can lock down both a point guard on the perimeter or a center in the paint — allows the Warriors to switch everything without fear. That often results in the opposing team isolating against a perceived mismatch. In those plays, they’re lucky to get a point per possession — a number not nearly good enough to match the Warriors’ offensive output.
In fact, the biggest separator in this Warriors-Blazers series might be Portland’s inability to switch against Golden State’s high pick-and-roll. They simply don’t have the personnel for it.
On the defensive end, Green was everywhere. Despite having five fouls against him for the final seven-plus minutes of the game — one shy of ejection — the Michigan State product played with a contagious zeal. Down 25 pounds since mid-season, he flew around the court, contesting nearly every shot and always finding himself in the fray for rebounds. It was an abandon that would have been reckless — for anyone else, that is.