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Warrior Wonder: Closeout Draymond makes the difference in Game 5 win

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Green’s near triple-double (17 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists) along with his defensive energy pushes the Warriors to the series-clinching win over the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors - Game Five Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

While Klay Thompson was the offense and Kevin Durant hit the bucket that sealed the win after allowing the Spurs to get back in the game late in the fourth quarter, the Golden State Warriors won Tuesday night’s game over the San Antonio Spurs because of everything that Draymond Green did.

Green’s fingerprints were all over the Warriors’ Game 5 win, as he had an impact in every facet of the game.

Scoring

Green scored 17 points in Game 5, his best scoring effort since a game in mid-March against the Phoenix Suns. As one would have expected, the All-Star forward has become much more aggressive on offense in the playoffs, particularly because teams are giving Green open looks at three-pointers, choosing to funnel their defenses towards Thompson and Durant.

Green made two shots from long distance against the Spurs, including this one in the opening minutes of the game to give the Warriors an early lead.

Though he didn’t shoot for a great percentage in Game 5, Green is still taking shots that he might have passed up in the regular season. The important thing is for Green to take those open shots because, eventually, they start to fall and they maintain the team’s offensive rhythm.

Rebounding

Green picked up where he left off in Game 4 with his rebounding. After grabbing 18 rebounds on Sunday, Green was one better and had 19 rebounds on Tuesday night.

Even against taller players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, Green was a dominant force on the glass and battled against those bigger opponents.

Most notably, five of Green’s rebounds were on the offensive glass, which gave the Warriors multiple opportunities to score.

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
Green was a dominant force in the paint on Tuesday night, grabbing 19 rebounds in the Warriors’ Game 5 win.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Green was a monster on the boards during this entire first-round series, averaging 11 rebounds per game. Now, those numbers were skewed a bit because of the remarkable totals he ended up with in Games 4 and 5, but it’s still impressive.

Rebounding is one area in which teams can challenge the Warriors. But if Green keeps rebounding like this, it’s going to be tough for those opponents to really dominate the glass.

Distributing

Green had seven of the Warriors’ 25 assists in Game 5, playing that vital role as playmaker and ball distributor. Green also led the Warriors in secondary assists (or “hockey assists”) as well as in total passes on Tuesday night. With Stephen Curry out of the lineup, Green’s role as a passer and facilitator is profoundly important.

One of Green’s assists came on this nice back-and-forth with Andre Iguodala to set up a dunk for the 2015 Finals MVP.

In the second quarter, Green makes a tough pass in traffic to set up a Kevon Looney layup.

Green tallied his final assist of the game on Durant’s dagger shot that effectively sealed the victory for the Warriors.

Defending

From the opening tip on Tuesday night, Green was clearly energized and that was most evident in his defensive play. Green was an absolute monster, playing like... well, like the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Green contested on numerous Spurs shots and defended players ranging from bigs like Aldridge to wings like Rudy Gay to small guards like Patty Mills, displaying that defensive versatility that makes him such a unique player and a difficult one to play against.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors
Green was a defensive dynamo on Tuesday night against the Spurs.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Green also had 14 defensive rebounds against the Spurs, pulling down more rebounds on defense than Aldridge did in total.

The Warriors’ defense truly goes as Green goes. In Game 5, Green had that defensive energy turned all the way up and subsequently the Warriors’ team defensive effort was quite high as well.

Dunking on TNT color commentators

Green offered this quote in his postgame interview, when asked about Chris Webber’s comment on the broadcast that Green might not be a starter on some teams.

Boom.

In closing

It was all over Twitter and everyone was thinking it from the opening tip, when he played like a man possessed.

Closeout Draymond.

Poll

Who was Warrior Wonder for Game 5 against the Spurs?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Klay Thompson
    (81 votes)
  • 54%
    Draymond Green
    (206 votes)
  • 13%
    Kevin Durant
    (51 votes)
  • 1%
    Andre Iguodala
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    JaVale McGee
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Kevon Looney
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Shaun Livingston
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Nick Young
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Quinn Cook
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    David West
    (3 votes)
375 votes total Vote Now