HOUSTON — Draymond Green, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, didn’t hesitate when requested for his response to being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team on Wednesday.
“Pissed,” Green mentioned emphatically, earlier than placing on his diplomat hat. “Nah, it’s an honor to make All-Defensive teams, All-NBA teams, All-Rookie teams. It’s an honor. It’s such a great league with great talent. A lot of guys are good on the defensive end, so to be one of the 10 guys named to the All-Defensive team is great.”
But that honor could possibly be thought of one thing of a slight for Green, who has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team three years in a row. Also, Green wasn’t even a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. He was the runner-up for that award in 2015 and 2016 earlier than profitable it final yr.
Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr mentioned anyone who understands basketball is aware of that Green remains to be one of many top-five defenders within the NBA.
“If you asked every coach in the league, ‘You could have any five defenders you want,’ I guarantee you Draymond would be one of those five,” Kerr mentioned. “The fact that he didn’t end up on the first team, stuff like that happens all the time. Michael Jordan should’ve won MVP about 10 times. LeBron probably should’ve earned it more than — how many times has he won? Four? Maybe he should’ve won more.”
Stephen Curry seconded Kerr, including that he was stunned Green was not named to the First Team.
“Yeah, I mean the guy won Defensive Player of the Year last year,” Curry mentioned. “I don’t know advanced analytics but, to the eye test, he’s still as dominating a force on that end as he was last year or the year before. A lot of that is mostly he wasn’t talking about it as much this year as he was last year. Maybe that had a little something to do with it.”
It didn’t assist that the stats additionally weren’t in his favor.
Green’s defensive field plus/minus ranking fell from 5 final season to 2.7 this season. He had 154 steals final season, whereas ending with 95 this season. And he had 501 defensive rebounds final season, whereas ending with 460 this season.
Kerr, nonetheless, mentioned it was solely pure for Green to have a little bit of a dip this season.
“I think this year, given that this is our fourth year trying to get back to The Finals, I think our whole team had lapses this year where we didn’t have quite the same level of play, level of energy,” Kerr mentioned. “I think Draymond has even admitted that to you guys. So what you’re seeing right now in the playoffs, yeah, that’s the real Draymond. And that’s what we’re excited about because he controls games with his defense.”
Kerr has a very good level — no matter points with apathy and engagement that Green might have struggled with in the course of the common season have utterly disappeared within the playoffs.
Green is averaging postseason career-highs in defensive rebounds (9.1), steals (1.9) and assists (eight.5). He averaged a triple-double within the Western Conference Semifinals towards New Orleans, changing into the primary Warrior to perform that feat in a playoff sequence.
Oh, and his defensive plus/minus ranking is 5.three, up from four.eight final season.
Kevin Durant, who just isn’t a finalist for the MVP award this season, has one other principle on why Green fell so low within the defensive awards this season.
Said Durant: “I guess they get tired of seeing Draymond up there.”
Green added that there have been a number of different obtrusive ommissions to the NBA’s Defensive Teams, together with Klay Thompson, Durant and Paul George.
“Those are just the three I know right off the top of my head that could’ve been or possibly should’ve been, but wasn’t on there,” Green mentioned. “But I know it’s a tough decision. Like I said, there are a lot of guys who can really defend in this league.”
Curry, nonetheless, mentioned he’s really form of blissful that Green was left off the First Team.
“That might give him a little bit of an edge or a chip on his shoulder,” Curry mentioned. “He feeds off of that stuff.”
Green already proved Curry proper. Afterall, he’s already planning to make use of that slight as blackboard materials for himself heading into subsequent season.
“It’s also motivation for me to make First-Team or go win Defensive Player of the Year again next year,” Green mentioned. “So, that’s what I’m going to do next year.”