No KD? No problem. Golden State is simply reminding everyone that they never needed Kevin Durant. After all, they did go 73-9 with pretty much the same core group of players. And whether you like it or not, Draymond Green has been leading that charge in Durant’s absence.
Saturday night’s game 3 against Portland was not only his best game this series but possibly his best game in the postseason thus far. Posting a 20 point, 13 rebounds & 12 assist triple double (with 4 steals and 1 block), Draymond reminded people that he does everything that goes unnoticed on stat sheets…and it results in wins.
The three-time NBA champion would have been a defensive FORCE in the late 90’s-early 2000s. Some argue that he is the Dennis Rodman of this generation; which isn’t a diss considering the role Rodman played during his 5 championships in the NBA. Like Rodman, so much of what Dray does won’t always fill up the points portion of the stat sheet but it will impact every other facet of the game. The tenacity of rebounding and his pride in defense is and has been key since this dynasty began in 2015.
His court vision isn’t too shabby either. The 6’7 Green is currently averaging more assists than his point guard not just in the post but the regular season as well since the 2015-2016 season. And I know what you’re thinking, “I could be one of the league leaders in assists too if Steph and Klay were my shooters.” It’s not that simple. Imagine guarding some of the best bigs in the league, as an undersized post player and then having a majority responsibility of running an offense. Don’t forget adjusting your game over the course of a summer to fit in a system that isn’t even your specialty. All the while knowing that what you do won’t get noticed as more than utility play because you’re overshadowed by the two best shooters in the league.
There’s a special place on championship teams for a guy like Draymond. He is the heart and soul of the Warriors. Without him, there most likely wouldn’t have been three titles over the last four years.
To put it in perspective, Derek Fisher was a player similar to Green. Not the flashiest, not the fastest by any means, but he did everything necessary to help secure 5 NBA championships. He may never have his jersey retired but you’ll never forget the impact he had on his teams.
Keep in mind Kobe never won or appeared in an NBA finals without Fisher. Case in point, Draymond Green will not always be the most flashy or elaborate superstar but he will always be the one you can look back and say, “I doubt they could have done it without him.” Or, you may never see him for the key puzzle piece he is. With possibly the best backcourt the NBA has ever seen, he knows he has to take a backseat. And as long as there are W’s and championships for his team, he’s fine with that.