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Draymond Green on winning Defensive Player of the Year: “It’s impossible”

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The former Defensive Player of the Year knows it’s not happening this season.

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Draymond Green is the best defensive player on the Golden State Warriors, and arguably the best defensive player in the league.

But the team hasn’t lived up to defensive standards this year, and Green knows that that ultimately reflects on him. At practice on Wednesday, the elite stopper noted that he won’t be winning the Defensive Player of the Year award this season, stating, “With where our defense is playing as a team, it’s impossible. That falls on me as the leader of that side of the ball.”

Green taking some responsibility is noble, and his statement is rooted in accuracy. Golden State is just 16th in the league in defensive rating - a mark that’s well below what is necessary to earn a player consideration as the league’s top defensive force.

The last time a player won Defensive Player of the Year on a team that finished outside of the top five in defensive rating was Marcus Camby in 2006-07.

When Green won Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17, the Warriors were second in the league, allowing just 103.4 points per 100 possessions - this year they’re giving up 109.5.

Any way you slice it, the defense hasn’t been up to par. And while Green has still been an elite defensive player who probably deserves to make an All-Defense team, the Warriors failing to match expectations on that end of the floor reflects on him, fairly or not. And he seems to know it.

But Green is still one of the two best defensive players in the world. And if he’s healthy, I’d bet that we see that once the playoffs roll around.