The Golden State Warriors are peaking at the right time and just made a huge statement by knocking down the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers on the road.
Draymond Green did a great job of containing Joel Embiid down the stretch, enduring his physical strength in the post, backing him down, frustrating him, and forcing him to put the ball down.
At the end of the game, the MVP candidate had no choice but to tip his hat off to the former Defensive Player of the Year, lauding his brains and feel for the game:
“He’s a great defender. There’s nothing I can take away from that. He’s a great one-on-one defender. He’s a good team defender. You know he’s very smart,” Embiid said, as quoted by ClutchPoints.
Green recently said that he's the greatest defender of all time, and while that is a bit of a stretch, there's no denying that he's one of the most versatile to ever do it.
But even though Embiid praised him, he still took a slight shot at him by claiming that he didn't feel like he was locked down by Green and that double-teams did most of the work for him:
“There was one time, they actually guarded me one-on-one, and that’s when he got his fifth foul. So, there’s a lot of guys that can get a lot of credit. You know when you’re going to send double teams every single time. You know when someone has the ball. It doesn’t matter how good a defender you are,” Embiid concluded.
While Stephen Curry is - by far - the best and most valuable player for the Warriors, Green's defense and leadership are the heart and soul of the team. Hopefully, he'll continue to play that physical, pesky, and contagious defense to help his team clinch a playoff berth.