The regular season is coming to a close, which means we're shifting our focus to the postseason and who will win what awards when the season is all wrapped up. Over the course of the past few weeks, several players have publicly stated their case for MVP from Stephen Curry to Joel Embiid. Jrue Holiday said he's the best defender in the league, but Golden State Warriors do-it-all forward Draymond Green has something to say about that.
"One thing I am certain of is that I can f--- up an entire team's offense. And so, when you look at the impact that I have on the defensive side of the ball, it's not always going to show up in blocked shots. It's not always going to show up in steals. "But I guarantee you it shows up in your favorite-player-who-I-may-be-playing-against's mind. It shows up in what they're able to do, as opposed to what they're trying to get to. "I think being able to control the game on the defensive side of the ball [is key] when you start talking Defensive Player of the Year."
Green may not be among the league's best shot blockers or steal getters, but it cannot be denied what he brings to the table on the defensive side of the ball. He's an absolute disruptor, capable of breaking up lob passes -- despite only being 6-6 -- and bothering the heck out of the opposing team's best player. He's the glue that holds the Warriors together on that end of the floor, and a major reason why Golden State is fifth in defensive rating this season.
His timing and instincts to break up a lob pass are unmatched in the NBA, and he can cover for other guys around him who are lacking on that end of the floor.
"It's not shot block leader of the year. It's not steals leader of the year. It says the Defensive Player of the Year," Green said. "Well, I am of the belief that someone could win Defensive Player of the Year and not average a steal or a block per game. That does not mean that guy's not having an incredible defensive year."
Green's knack for being a pest down in the paint actually does show up in a couple of statistical categories. He ranks in the 96th percentile in steal percentage in the league among other players at his position, and he allows opponents to shoot just 45.9 percent within six feet of the rim. Green won Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season, and he's been named to the All-Defensive first team three times while being named to the second team three times as well.
While he may not win the award this season, as Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert is having a standout season anchoring his team's defense, he should certainly be considered as a top 3 vote-getter, and be named an All-Defensive First Team selection for how he's been able to keep this Warriors team intact on defense during another lackluster season.