Draymond Green's return has finally propelled the Warriors into a positive record after their utter dominance against the Sacramento Kings. Green's impact on both ends cannot be understated and shows that he is the locker room leadership presence that the Warriors have been lacking. He is the real leader on this Warriors team, and before people grab their pitchforks, this isn't anything against Stephen Curry. Curry is a leadership presence in the locker room and a former MVP who is the best player on his team. However, the Warriors have been missing that gritty defensive presence that Green brings, and the offense has been flowing better with Green's playmaking abilities.
Draymond Green Is A Vocal Player
Anyone who has watched Golden State play during their prime knows one thing: Draymond Green is always talking. He's always talking to coaches, opponents, teammates... you get the point. Draymond's vocal leadership is an underrated part of his impact, as he directs teammates to where they need to be on the court while firing players up when he's talking off the bench. Sometimes, people make fun of his passion, but it's better to have a player that cares too much, than one that cares too little.
In these two videos, we see examples of Green's ability to actively tell teammates what to do. Some players can't be vocal all the time: it's just not their style. But Draymond Green has no qualms about yelling, screaming, and actively communicating with his teammates; that is a boon for this Warriors team, as Stephen Curry has a more easy-going leadership style. Green's style of leadership will pay dividends on the court for the Warriors: better communication leads to better possessions on both ends.
Draymond Green Has Elite Basketball IQ
Draymond Green is the floor general for the Warriors. There are a lot of little things that he does that won't necessarily show up on the box score, but provide an impact nonetheless. Green's IQ makes the game easy for his teammates and sets them up for success. For example, take a look at this possession that gives Stephen Curry an easy basket.
This easy basket is only possible due to Draymond Green telling Kent Bazemore what to do at the start of the play. Bazemore will be credited with the assist for the play, but this play was only possible due to Draymond Green directing the traffic. As a result of him not putting up intense statistics, many may severely underrate how good he is. Green's impact is often missed in the box-score but can be recognized by the eye test and some advanced stats.
You don't have to score to have an impact on the game. Draymond Green is showing this in these first few games that he's played. In a way, Green's presence has unlocked this Golden State offense. Green relieves some of the pressure off of Stephen Curry and allows him to play his game, while Green sets up the rest of the offense and helps his teammates make the right plays. In their first few games as a new roster, the Warriors seemed disjointed and looked like they were missing something. That something was the presence of Draymond Green.
Draymond Green Provides A Huge Impact On Both Ends
A lot of people forget that Draymond Green is a former DPOY and 3-time All-Star. He earned those awards by being good on both ends. Green isn't a huge scorer: that much is clear from his entire tenure in Golden State. But when Green's on the court he uses his passing and vision to create easy shots for his teammates on the offensive end, while providing DPOY quality defense on the other end. Draymond Green is an amazing two-way player, just not in the way that people expect.
Draymond Green makes the offense flow better. Part of the reason that the Golden State Warriors dynasty succeeded despite having three scoring oriented All-Stars is the presence of Draymond Green. A notable concept that people bring up when it comes to winning a championship, is the idea of sacrifice. Players have to sacrifice and play a role to win: you could put up all the stats in the world, and never win a championship. Draymond Green sacrificed his counting stats to win: and that has made him underrated, ever since the 2016-17 season. His two-way impact is shown in this Thinking Basketball video. The video was made when Kevin Durant was still on the Warriors, but Green's skills haven't changed since.
A more current example of Green's impact on the defensive end would be the recent win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Green showed flashes of his DPOY level defense: taking charges, walling up against Jusuf Nurkic, and playing some elite help defense. Green's ability to guard bigger players as a smaller forward cannot be understated, and is the key to the Warriors having the ability to play small-ball.
Essentially, Draymond Green has been underrated for far too long as a key cog of the Warriors' title-winning machine. Green's ability to make plays on both ends is going to be crucial to them succeeding this year. If Green can just impart a fraction of his basketball wisdom on young players like Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and James Wiseman, then the Warriors could have an exciting core for years to come.
To many people, Draymond Green is an afterthought because the Warriors had a terrible record last year. But Green is a defensive savant who can anchor a championship team. He is one of the most underrated players in the NBA currently, and it is about time people started talking about his impact. Draymond Green would be an excellent addition to any contender, and the Warriors are lucky that they possess one of the most impactful players in the game.