Draymond Green believes defensive contributions are often overlooked in NBA coverage, and the Warriors star is fine with the status quo.
Well, fine in a way befitting of his assuredness of his own knowledge.
"That would require people to know the game of basketball, and most people don't," Green said Saturday in a video conference call with reporters when NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke asked him if he wished people had a greater appreciation for defense.
"[That's wishful] thinking, but most people will never learn the game of basketball. They think they know, but yet don't have a clue. It is what it is. I enjoy being one of the not-so-many people that actually knows the game, and being in that rare category of people who really knows what's going on in the game of basketball, as opposed to watching it and thinking they can dissect it because they realize who hit a shot. You know, it's fine."
Green's frustration was evident, but the importance of the Warriors' defense to their success hasn't exactly been a secret. The Warriors' offense captivated fans during five consecutive runs to the NBA Finals last decade, yes. Their defense wasn't exactly underappreciated, though.
Fewer highlight reels contained footage of, say, key switches that led to stops, but plenty of column inches were dedicated to it. Leading into the regular season, Green, coach Steve Kerr and countless players stressed that the Warriors would only be as successful as their defense this season.
That has borne out in Green's return to the lineup. With the Warriors still integrating a lot of new faces following an abbreviated preseason, Golden State's defensive rating (106.7) since Green debuted is 12th in the NBA. The Warriors were 24th (112.5) through the first four games of the season.
"It'll take a little bit," Green said of acclimating new players. "But as long as we continue to defend the way we've been defending over the last week-and-a-half or so, we can give ourselves time for that to catch up just by erasing a lot of mistakes on the defensive end and creating offense off our defense."
Steph Curry's 38 points earned a lot of postgame attention following the Warriors' win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, but their defense was the difference down the stretch. Golden State limited LA to just 40 second-half points, the Clippers' fewest over the final two quarters in a single game all season.
That surely was music to Green's ears, considering his 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year win and his five appearances on one of the NBA's All-Defensive teams. If it was for anyone else, well, perhaps Green's category won't feel so rare moving forward.