NBA – Why Draymond Green is the man who can offer the title to the Golden State Warriors


Maybe it doesn’t always show at first sight, but Draymond Green is making his mark on the NBA Finals. Both positively… and negatively. His impact on the series is obvious as it impacts the victories but also the defeats of his Warriors. “I am aware that if I play well, we win“, admitted the interested party after a very delicate Game 1, lost by his people and during which he missed 10 of his 12 attempts. He quickly recovered by raising his level of play and his intensity during the following match, then won by Golden State. But by alternating the good and the less good, the veteran exposes his teammates to difficulties. It must be said that his role is essential within this group and even this organization. He always has been since the advent of the dynasty in 2015.

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The Californians are logically associated with the explosion of Stephen Curry, MVP two years in a row while leading his franchise to the finals six times for three titles, perhaps soon four. Still, they probably wouldn’t have dominated the league in the same way if Steve Kerr hadn’t figured out the best way to use Green as a backup to Curry in managing the game on offense and as a mainstay of defense.

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Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) against the Boston Celtics, Sunday June 5, 2022. / 2022 NBA Finals

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Curry’s distant boxes and baskets make a strong impression. The superstar is heading straight for his first Finals MVP trophy by leading his people to the gates of coronation. But his sparkling performances didn’t keep Ime Udoka awake despite his players struggling to slow down the opposition point guard. “Again, I’m not sure it was our defense that was the problem tonight. It’s more our difficulties in attack“, conceded the Boston coach after Game 5. An opinion shared by his Golden State counterpart. ” The key to our game is defense says Kerr. And that’s Draymond’s business. Not only, of course. Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Gary Payton II and Kevon Looney have all been decisive on this side of the floor so far. But the former All-Star is the guiding light. His mission is clear: to blow up the Celtics’ game plan.

The biggest challenge of Draymond Green’s career

So far, it’s working pretty well. Jayson Tatum and his partners lost 18 balls in the last match. Including 5 for the only Jaylen Brown, closely marked by a concentrated Draymond Green and who applied himself to orienting the young man on his left hand. Brown converted just 5d of his 18 attempts. And the Celtics were limited to 94 points. The three defeats of the Massachusetts franchise have one thing in common: less than 100 points scored. What had happened to him only twice in the eighteen games played in the Eastern Conference. The other finding that comes back: Green shone in the three successes of the Warriors. Well almost. Indeed, while his team was chasing the score, Kerr preferred to do without the services of one of his most important players in the fourth quarter. He threw Kevon Looney in his place and Golden State managed to come back to score before winning. “I’m never happy with the idea of ​​leaving the pitch with 7 minutes left in a crucial game. I am a competitor. But I follow the coach’s choices. I had to stay focused to have an impact as soon as I got back on the court“, he admitted after the fact. He actually came back, to defend hard and provide two assists in the last moments of the game. This game, he still closed it with 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. “He’s a winner. The ultimate winner. And his passion is one of the reasons he’s a winner. Sometimes it blows it up. He’s like that. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. We need this energy that he brings us“, says his coach.

Would Draymond Green be less essential? Not really. On the other hand, he faces the biggest challenge of his career. The Celtics’ characteristics – notably Robert Williams, a very athletic pivot – prevent him from developing his usual game and push him to multiply in defense. “This series is a real challenge for him. Especially from an emotional point of view. There are duels where it is difficult for him to score near the score or on pick-and-roll. It’s a series where he can’t really lead the offense at the head of the key because Boston is changing on all screens. He just has to find what he can do to help the team “continues Steve Kerr. The 32-year-old has no choice. He must “respond to force with force“, as he says himself. He must set the tone, set the pace, bring intensity so that his Warriors, who have fewer assets than in the past in defense, hold the shock. And he must also do it by being smarter than his opponents, smarter to anticipate their strategy, their movements, but also to avoid being ejected and getting carried away in his emotions while continuing to transmit his passion to his teammates. The task seems herculean and it won’t be read on any scoresheet. The MVP trophy isn’t in his hands. But he knows that if he succeeds, he will most likely be able to celebrate a new title.

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