One of the highly anticipated fixtures in the 2021-22 NBA season has come to an end, and while Stephen Curry somehow got the Brooklyn Nets Fans to chant "MVP" for him after putting on a clinic shooting from beyond the arc, Draymond Green's defense on Durant is worthy of note.
The game ended in favor of the Golden State Warriors 117-99. Although Curry's shooting could be the main reason the Warriors won the game, Green's defense on Durant made sure the Nets did not have a fighting chance.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wasted no time giving Green the credit he is due, as not many can successfully disrupt Durant's rhythm. After the game, Kerr said:
"You can't do a better job defensively than what Draymond did tonight."
Durant shot 0-of-8 from the field in the third quarter and had three turnovers, no thanks to Draymond. It was the second time in his career that he had eight misses without a make in a quarter, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. He ended the game with a season-low 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Green, who is not the best scorer, finished the game with 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. Of course, the box score will not show how well Green played defensively, as contests or restricting your opponent from getting to his spot are not stats that are recorded. Nonetheless, Green held Durant to -17 in the third quarter.
Many shy away from guarding KD because he is one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history, but Green welcomed the challenge. As former teammates, he perhaps knew a move or two in KD's arsenal that helped make his job a tad easier.
The last time Draymond won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award was in 2017, and fans believe he is long overdue for another. Performances like this will surely help his case this season. Although he's not one of the favorites to win the award right now, that could change down the line.