During Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Draymond Green is seen arguing with the refs as he finds his way to the bench. He has gotten his 6th foul, taking him out of the game. With Boston in a substantial lead, he still barks at the ref, finally sitting down once play resumes.
Although fouling out is uncommon in the NBA, Draymond has always been a heavy target. However, one might say his defensive impact and ability make all of that worthwhile. To this, I agree. Kind of.
A player with a very high defensive impact fouling out towards the end of the game is no big deal. Where the difference lies is that Draymond Green is no longer a player with a very high defensive impact, and having him on the court can sometimes make your team worse. Draymond fouled out with a stat line of two points, three rebounds, four assists, and shooting 25% from the field. His impact on the court is long gone, and his ability to help an NBA team is fading.
Draymond Green is a scrappy player with an incredible basketball resume. His 7 All-Defensive teams and his 2017 DPOY is impressive, but his impact has lessened over the course of the years.
I’ll start with one of my favorite defensive statistics, defensive rating. This stat simply shows the average amount of points a player allows per 100 possessions. Draymond, a constant, pestering, 1 through 5 defenders, should be elite in this aspect of the game. He is not so.
Draymond ranks 49th in the playoffs in defensive rating, with 9 Celtics players outranking him. Having your entire basketball team’s playing rotation beat you out in defensive rating is plainly just embarrassing.
Defensive rating may not be for you, though. He guards more positions, so he should let up more points, right? Okay, I’ll humor you. Let’s talk about steal and block percentage.
Using averages in steals and blocks is useful, but I find their percentages to be better. This shows what percentage of each possession will a specific player make a block or a steal. Draymond is known for his hustle, plays and steals, and guards players much smaller than him, so he should be able to succeed in these departments!
If ranking 84th in all of the playoffs in steals percentage and outside of the top 100 in block percentage is successful, then he absolutely is!
Draymond Green literally has not one advanced defensive or offensive statistic in the top 25 of the playoffs and doesn’t even lead by players in the finals. His impact is fading, and it’s fading fast.
If you watch him play, just by the eye test, you can tell something’s different. Green is taking shortcuts, making bad plays, and just looks like a much stiffer and less athletic basketball player.
His poor decisions on offense are affecting the team tremendously, and he can’t make up for that on defense anymore. He’s always harped on as an advanced stats player, but every stats shows he’s really just about average.
I don’t think Green should retire. He’s still a great leader and vocal piece of the Warriors. He knows defense, and he can still be a catalyst to the Warrior’s success. He just needs to find himself another way.
Green has needed to work on his shooting since Henry Ford made the Model T. If he can get in the gym and put up shots more than before, he could really add to this team’s versatile weapons.
Getting more flexible is just as important. His hip movement and foot speed are off, and he puts himself out of position in doing so. He needs to go on a Miami Heat diet and do some yoga before Tatum puts him in another spin cycle and tears his Meniscus.
Truth be told, Green makes the NBA better. He’s physical, he’s vocal, and he defends himself and his teammates. I don’t want Green gone. I just want Green to either understand he’s getting old or work to prevent that. A good Draymond is helping the Warriors beat Boston in 5. This Draymond may never win a ring ever again.