The Golden State Warriors have the best defensive rating in the league right now, and while they have performed exceptionally well as a unit, Draymond Green has been the anchor. It has been a defensive masterclass from the Warriors, who also have one of the best offenses in the league.
It has been perceived that the Warriors are out to send a message. They had a very unstable past couple of seasons, and the team that dominated the NBA Finals since the 2015 season missed the playoffs in 2020 and 2021. To reassert their dominance, the Warriors are moving through every team like a bullet train, with Stephen Curry leading the charge.
While the offense is something we can marvel over for days unending, the defense deserves equally as much praise. Winning the championship is undoubtedly on the mind of the Warriors, but Draymond has a personal mission.
In a post-game presser, he spoke about how his children are his motivation and that he would like to win the Defensive Player of the Year award again so his kids can see how good he is.
"My son is getting older, my oldest daughter, she’s seven now. They kind of get on my ass if we lose, so that’s motivation. And I think for me, also, I’ve been s**** the last couple of years, so my kids don’t really understand how good I am. And I want them to see how good I am so that they’ll have an understanding. So that is motivation for me."
“When I was playing at the top of my level, which I’m getting back to that now, they were (ages) three and one. So that is motivating to me, to play well in front of them so that they have an understanding of what I do. Most importantly, I want to win, I want to be Defensive Player of the Year again, and I want to be an All-Star again. That is motivating for me because a lot of people had counted me out. Same mistake people made before when I first came into the league.”
So far, his most memorable display this season was against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Draymond took it upon himself to quiet down one of the league's most effective scorers, and he did an impeccable job.
In their 117-99 blowout victory over the Nets, Green held Durant to 19 points (season-low). He had the most success defensively in the third quarter, where Durant went 0-8 from the field. His efforts have drawn praise from head coach Steve Kerr, who believes Green is the best defender in the world.
By all standards, Green has a claim to the award, but he has 65 more games to prove himself. In 17 games played this season, he is averaging 7.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.9 blocks. But a lot of what Dray does on the defensive end of the floor does not show up on the box score.