Draymond Green caught a lot of flak for his performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Draymond has never been someone whose performances can be judged just based on numbers, but even putting the numbers aside, he had a rough time.
Draymond also accepted responsibility for the loss on his podcast and the Warriors needed him to be better in Game 2. Fortunately, for their sake, he was a lot better. Green was great on the defensive end, which is his area of expertise and NBA analyst Rob Perez highlighted one particular play which showcased Draymond's IQ on defense.
"awesome awareness here from Draymond:
1) sees GPII slip
2) realizes GPII wont be able to contest open three in corner
3) has only a split-second window to react, sprints over to help in time
4) forces turnover"
It was just one in a long list of good plays from Green on the defensive end, and this one led to a traveling violation on Derrick White. It was part of that epic third-quarter run from the Warriors in which they blitzed the Celtics and took complete control of the game.
This play again highlighted how Draymond cannot be judged by his numbers. This forced turnover, for example, won't count anywhere on his stat line, but it's little plays like these throughout the course of the game that helps the Warriors get the win. In total in this game, the Celtics turned it over 18 times and Golden State scored 33 points off of them, which had a big impact on determining the final outcome.
Golden State will need more of the same from Draymond and the rest of the crew on defense if they are to steal back home-court advantage here. They will back themselves to win one of the next two, as they have won at least one road game in an NBA-record 26 consecutive series, a streak that began all the way back in the First Round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.