Draymond Green is still the NBA’s best defender
With all due respect to Marcus Smart, there is not a better defender in the NBA than Draymond Green.
If you didn’t see it when he was leading the Defensive Player of the Year race earlier in the season, Draymond’s defense on the likely MVP has been hard to ignore.
Nikola Jokic concluded the regular season averaging 27.1 points on 58.3% shooting. He dished 7.9 assists and committed 3.8 turnovers a game.
Since the playoffs began, Jokic has dropped to 25.5 points per game — which doesn’t seem like a big dip, but his field goal percentage has plummeted to 46.7% and his assists are down to just 5.0.
The reason behind this? Draymond Green has been phenomenal. Green is hounding Jokic every time he touches the ball, bumping him, forcing him into the teeth of the defense and limiting his looks at the rim.
It helps that no one else in Denver has been able to make the Warriors pay for overloading on Jokic. But, with Green darting around the floor to act as the ultimate stopper, it’s hard to imagine the Nuggets even had a chance, to begin with.