Earlier in the year, Green said he was the best defender to ever play in the NBA. Maybe, that is a stretch as of now. But this season, Green is at the very least making a solid case for the best defender of the small-ball era.
Measuring defensive impact is a hard thing to do, which Draymond Green himself would agree.
Warriors’ Draymond Green is not just having a Defensive Player of the Year season. He is making a statement for the best defender in his generation.
Yet, he is the anchor of the best defense in basketball and one of the most awarded defenders in NBA history. In his 10-year-career, Green has made an All-Defensive team six times, with one steal championship and a Defensive Player of the Year award.
It somehow still feels oddly sketchy compared to his actual defensive impact in the game. After all, we are talking about an impactful playoff stopper and a 3-time NBA Champion.
The game has changed a lot over the decades. Today’s basketball is faster, less physical, but definitely more pacey and athletic.
Offenses are no longer stationary like they once were. Now, teams have constant player motion, driving and kicking, and perimeter-based scoring. These are new characteristics of a small-ball era of basketball, which means that defenses also need adjustments.