Despite having a statistically lesser role, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green believes he’s one of the NBA’s best all-around players.
Kevin Durant coming to the Bay Area hasn’t yet hindered Draymond Green in any stat column outside of points — in fact, Green is performing even better than last year. Through ten games, the Warriors sit at a cool 8-2 and are actually second in the division to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Durant and Stephen Curry are the two leading scorers at 27.7 and 27.2, respectively, but Green monopolizes all the other statistics. He’s their leader in rebounds (10.1), assists (7.1), steals (2.3) and blocks (1.6), and he could very well get voted to his second-straight All-Star game.
Because of his versatility, Green, very bluntly, told Chris Haynes of ESPN that he believes he’s one of the league’s best talents. And he’s right:
I think I’m one of the best players in the NBA. Am I going to go out and score 30 every night? Absolutely not. But I didn’t say I was one of the best scorers. I think I’m one of the best players, and I think anybody should believe that. I think if you don’t believe that, you’re failing yourself, and you’re not allowing yourself to be that … But I don’t say that in a sense of, ‘Oh, I’m one of the best. I’m better than Steph, I’m better than KD.’ Like, that isn’t me. When I just look at the game, that’s how I feel.
But the things that I do are more self-gratifying than anything. I don’t do something to say, ‘Man, I wonder if they saw that screen I just set. I wonder if they saw what I just did to help him get that bucket.’ I don’t do that, but I’ll run down the court feeling amazing about it. That’s just kind of how I am.
When players make statements like this, it’s usually a head-scratcher. Green, on the other hand, has earned the right to label himself one of the league’s best, and he’s undoubtedly a top-15 talent. One could even argue that he sneaks into the top-ten.
Looking at all the things he can do on the court, both offensively and defensively, few guys can rival his all-around polish. According to Basketball-Reference, nine players are averaging ten points, five rebounds and five assists per game; if you bump the rebounds and assists to seven, James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are the only guys next to Green.
Harden falls off the list once defense gets incorporated, and Westbrook and James are the only two guys who can consistently stuff the stat sheet.
The most overlooked part of Green’s dynamic is his basketball IQ for a big man — while he can’t make the same scintillating passes as James, he knows how to make the proper play, and he does so without turning the ball over.
Draymond is the difference when it comes to Golden State winning a title. It’s evident by last year. When he went out for game five, the Warriors lost all momentum and couldn’t get it back. They have the most talented team in the league, but Green is the guy who keeps them all together.
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