clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Warrior Wonder: Draymond Green does it all

New, comments

Draymond Green recorded a triple-double, and played stellar defense in the Warriors’ 99-92 victory against the Cavs.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors99-92 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas wasn’t exactly pretty. But then again, that’s the exact environment that Draymond Green thrives in.

Green was right at home in a game where loose balls felt more common than threes, and more important than dunks. Two of the league’s most explosive offenses clashed, but neither team eclipsed 100 points, as the game slowed into a gritty, grind-it-out affair.

And Green thrived, recording his first triple-double of the year with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. He shot 5-11 from the field, threw in 2 steals and 1 block, and had a plus/minus of +5, which was tops among Warriors’ starters.

But, as is almost always the case with Green, the box score couldn’t come close to describing his contributions. His defense was stellar, particularly off-ball, where he directed his teammates like a master composer.

His defense acted as a spark plug for the offense, which often found rhythm when Green recorded a stop, such as in this beautiful play:

With Stephen Curry still sidelined due to an ankle injury, Green acted as a catalyst for the offense, often playing the role of primary ball-handler. The 11 assists are impressive, but don’t do justice to just how much playmaking Green did.

His work with rookie Jordan Bell, who got a surprising start over a healthy Zaza Pachulia, was particularly impressive. The duo hooked up for multiple lobs, and gave fans a glimpse of what Golden State’s frontcourt might look like in the future.

And just to top it all off, Green’s personality shone through with a pair of “Arthur”-themed Christmas sneakers, which he (unconvincingly) insisted weren’t a playful jab at LeBron Jamessocial media posts.

KD states his DPOY claim

Last year left the NBA with a clearly defined trio of Defensive Player of the Year candidates, who seemed a sizable step ahead of everyone else: Green, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

This year, Kevin Durant is putting his name in the hat. Durant’s defense has taken a huge step forwards, and on Christmas, KD stated his claim to the award with a monster performance.

His 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists were great, but it was Durant’s defense on James that was truly superb. Durant made sure that he was the primary assignment on James all night, and it worked: James was just 7-18 shooting the ball, and turned the ball over seven times.

Durant clearly took the matchup as a chance to prove himself, and that’s exactly what he did.

With Green, Leonard, and Gobert all missing time this season, the door is open for KD to add a Defensive Player of the Year award to his already overflowing trophy case. After last night’s performance (which featured five blocks), he may be the frontrunner.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson had a fine performance. He scored 24 points on just 15 shots, connected on 4-7 from beyond the arc, played excellent defense, and didn’t turn the ball over.

But, most importantly, he did this:

If he gets your vote for Warrior Wonder for that shot alone . . . well . . . I won’t blame you.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Hornets?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Draymond Green
    (371 votes)
  • 40%
    Kevin Durant
    (404 votes)
  • 16%
    Klay Thompson
    (168 votes)
  • 3%
    David West
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    Shaun Livingston
    (29 votes)
1007 votes total Vote Now