Draymond Green on his defense: “I don’t feel like I’m where I’m capable of being”

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OAKLAND – Draymond Green is his harshest critic. And the reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t think he’s been quite up to par in his area of expertise this season.

“I felt okay,” Green said. “I don’t feel like I’m where I’m capable of being. Stretches, they’re not consistent like I’ve always been.”

Last season, Green was phenomenal on the defensive end. After finishing as the runner-up to the Defensive Player of the Year two seasons in a row, he became the first Warriors player to win that honor in 2017.

But it’s been a long, drawn-out season for him and all of his teammates, following three straight NBA Finals appearances and two championships.

Green acknowledged that things have felt a bit different for him this time around.

“It’s not necessarily hard to build off of,” Green said. “But I had an amazing year defensively last year. It was incredible. I hold myself to that standard and always want to reach that level of greatness, if you will. That doesn’t always happen.”

Green’s defensive box plus/minus rating, which basketballreference.com defines as a box score estimate of the defensive points per 100 possessions a player contributed over a league-average player, translated to an average team, has fallen from five to 2.7 this season. He had 154 steals last season, while finishing with 95 this season. And he had 501 defensive rebounds last season, while finishing with 460 this season. To be fair, he played in six fewer games this season because of injuries.

That being said, Green, who made the All-Star team for his for his third straight season in February, knows that he’s one of the best defensive players — if not the best — on the court at all times. And his opponents know it too.

“Teams still don’t want me in their action,” Green said. “They’re still wanting me out on the pick-and-roll and trying to get me away from the play. I still know I can take the game over defensively on any given night.”

It’s something Green prides himself on.

“That’s definitely a compliment,” he said. “Makes me feel good about myself.”

Green led the Warriors in the regular season in rebounds (7.6) and assists (7.3) while averaging 11 points a game. And a lot of what he does doesn’t even show up in the box score. Warriors’ coach Steve …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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