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Dubs in-depth: Is Draymond Green’s impact on basketball equal to Steph Curry’s?

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Sam Quinn of CBS Sports makes an argument that it is.

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been makings news often for his comments.

From his appearance on the All the Smoke podcast, to his verbal battle with Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, Green hasn’t been shy in expressing his opinion.

Green caught some flack for saying that he, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, “changed the game of basketball,” while talking with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

Sam Quinn of CBS Sports wrote a nice piece detailing how Green’s impact on how the game is played is on par with Curry.

“Most of the stylistic changes the league has undergone in the past half-decade can be traced back directly to Green’s ascent in 2015. That’s a claim Curry can’t even fully make. Though he is unquestionably the NBA’s greatest 3-point shooter, the analytics revolution started pushing teams behind the arc well before he grew into a legend.”

Quinn refers to the rise of players like P.J. Tucker and Bam Adebayo, who can guard every position, becoming possible in large part due to Green. He adds that the NBA teams were already making the 3-point shot more of a priority and Curry came and took outside shooting to another level.

While I agree with Quinn that Green had a huge impact on the game, it is hard for me to see it on the same level as Steph’s. Without Curry and Thompson, Green would not have been able to showcase his passing ability in the pick-and-roll because the Splash Brothers get some much attention when on the perimeter.

Green’s impact on the defensive end cannot be understated. He made the Dubs system of switching everything possible with his versatility. He was the anchor of the Warriors defense on their championship runs, which is impressive considering he is just 6’6.

When he won the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year award, Green led the league in defensive box plus/minus, and ranked in the top 30 in both victories above replacement and win shares, per basketball reference.

I don’t think the Warriors win a championship in 2015 without Draymond, but I can’t say for certain a team with Curry, Klay and Kevin Durant don’t win a title without him in 2017 and 2018.

Curry’s emergence and playing style helped change basketball as we know it. The way he moves on the court, his ability to make shots from legitimately anywhere on the floor and his ability to single-handedly change the outcome of a game is hard to match.

What do you think of Quinn’s opinion that Curry and Green had have an equal impact on the game of basketball?


Onto some more links:

The, “We Believe,” Warriors squad was one of the most fun teams in recent NBA history. There were a lot of factors at play with Don Nelson’s team that year, Warriors.com looks back at the top 10 storylines from the 2006-07 season.

That, “We Believe,” team is best known for its massive first-round upset over the 67-15 Dallas Mavericks. Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson were both part of that squad and shared the story of the wild post-game celebration. (KNBR)

There has been a lot of talk of which team is the best in NBA history, especially with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls being at the forefront of the sports world with ESPN’s, “The Last Dance,” dominating the headlines. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons made the case for the 2016-17 Warriors being the best of all time on his recent podcast. (h/t Drew Shiller of NBC Bay Area)

With the Dubs all but guaranteed a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, they will have the opportunity to add a good young piece. One of those players is Georgia guard Anthony Edwards. 247Sports put together a nice video showing how the Warriors would be different if they select Edwards.