Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has stepped up on defense in the last few games, but it remains to be seen if his performance this season garners any serious Defensive Player of the Year consideration.
Before Draymond Green suffered an ankle injury in the Golden State Warriors loss to the Houston Rockets, he was playing some spirited basketball on the defensive end of he court.
Green said that he does not expect to miss much time, but it might be a good time to take a look at his play so far and evaluate his chances of winning a second Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In November, Green said that the award was a clear goal for him this season.
Green’s overall play on defense this season has been inconsistent. He started the season well, but nowhere near his DPOY-level production. Then as soon as the calendar flipped to 2019, Green gradually increased his production.
There was a stretch in mid-January against the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, and New Orleans Pelicans where he resembled the defensive monster that garnered him his first DPOY. In those four straight wins, Green stringed together a defensive rating of 105.7 and the Warriors were a +20 when he was on the floor.
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In February, Green has been on a defensive tear. In eight games so far, the Warriors are 8-2 and Green’s defensive rating is a stellar 117.7.
The Warriors are playing well so far this month and Green is a huge part of their success. When he is engaged on defense, he disrupts an opponent’s offensive schemes and allows the Warriors to overwhelm teams in transition.
Green faces some stiff competition from other contenders.
Utah Jazz center reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert is enjoying a career year defensive rating (102.8).
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star swingman Paul George is in the conversation for MVP, but his play on the defensive end of the court could garner him some consideration for DPOY. George hounds the opposing team’s best perimeter player and is always a threat in the passing lanes (career-high 2.2 steals per game).
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner leads the league with 2.7 blocks per game and he spearheads the second-best defensive team in the NBA.
Green’s journey to a second Defensive Player of the Year Award will be difficult, but not impossible. Aside from the scoring, Green’s counting stats and advanced numbers this season resemble those of his DPOY season in 2016-17.
If Draymond Green can quickly recover from his ankle injury and continue his recent strong play, he can make a good case that he deserves a second Defensive Player of the Year Award.