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Warrior Wonder: Can Draymond Green win his second Defensive Player of the Year award?

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The Warriors defeated Washington behind Kevin Durant’s 32 points. But the real story was the defense.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year in action
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The common wisdom is that Draymond Green hasn’t quite reached the levels of defensive intensity this year that saw him take home the Defensive Player of the Year trophy last season.

But as the playoffs approach, Green is ramping it up. Last night, against the Wizards, the Warriors weren’t breathtaking on offense. The defense, however, was much improved from some of the pre-All Star break malaise.

Shots were contested, passing lanes disrupted, and pressure applied on the perimeter. At the center of it all was the Warriors unquestioned defensive leader - Draymond Green.

Currently, the Defensive Player of the Year race is pretty wide open. Other contenders could be Paul George or Joel Embiid. But if Green continues this sort of effort for the rest of the season the award is his for the taking.

Tonight his creativity on offense was also on display. Overall he finished with 11 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Pretty, pretty good.

Andre Iguodala

In a game where defense was the difference, it’s no surprise to see Andre Iguodala thriving. Another fine performance, and the theory that he’s been resting for the first half of the season looks more plausible by the day.

Iguodala’s stats tonight: 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, three blocks, a steal, and an eye-popping 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Not bad for a player many were fretting over not so long ago. If he produces like that in the playoffs, we’ll be fine.

Kevin Durant

Tonight was a chance for Kevin Durant to show out in his hometown. And he came out firing, with 16 points in the first quarter. It was indeed a beautiful sight.

Thereafter, perhaps influenced by the sight of his old Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks on the sideline, he spent a few too many possessions in isolations, either over-dribbling or holding onto the ball instead of passing.

True he finished with 32 points, but it wasn’t with quite the same flow. We’ll need that isolation ability at times in the playoffs, but it’s something to be sprinkled in sparingly when the offense grinds to a halt.

Still, it was a good night overall for him, and a much better experience for everyone that the last time he came to Washington with the Warriors.

The Splash Brothers

Klay Thompson may have been a bit quiet on the offensive end (13 points, 3-6 from three point territory) but he definitely deserves some consideration for tonight’s Warrior Wonder after another stellar defensive performance.

Bradley Beal was held to just eight points on 3-15 shooting. This comes a few nights after Thompson put the clamps on the Thunder.

Meanwhile this wasn’t Stephen Curry’s finest outing, though even on a poor night he proved his value hitting four three pointers and putting up a team-high +20.

Who’s your Warrior Wonder tonight?

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder in the win over the Wizards?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Draymond Green
    (65 votes)
  • 32%
    Kevin Durant
    (95 votes)
  • 13%
    Andre Iguodala
    (38 votes)
  • 5%
    Steph Curry
    (17 votes)
  • 24%
    Klay Thompson
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (please post in the comments)
    (3 votes)
290 votes total Vote Now