ESPN’s Doris Burke got an extremely detailed breakdown of the Warriors’ defensive film from a front-runner for the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and possibly the best defender of this generation.
And no one can passionately dissect defensive study better than the glue of the Dubs’ defense, Draymond Green.
The 2016-17 DPOY sat down with Burke and explained the defensive mindset behind guarding certain teams.
Green talked about how they try to lockdown Brooklyn Nets star and former teammate Kevin Durant.
“There’s no other problem on the court more dangerous than Kevin Durant with the ball going to the baseline,” Green explained to Burke. “And if I don’t slide over, that’s a pull up. We know he’s shooting that shot. So there’s nothing else for me to worry about. I know Kevin has the ball. I need to come and identify and help with the issue.”
Just as eager as Green, Burke rolled the next play.
“Oh this was a good play, I know this play,” Green said as the two gazed at the screen.
Golden State was hosting the Toronto Raptors and Green described a beautiful defensive effort from him.
On what could’ve been an easy bucket for 6-foot-8 Pascal Siakam, who was being guarded by Jordan Poole at the time, Draymond knew he had to step in and help -- which he did.
“Pascal Siakam is winning that matchup eight times out of 10,” Green said. “I got my back turned but I caught the ball in just enough time to get back and help. I was super excited about that play.”
“That’s a hell of a play,” Burke responded.
The next play the two reviewed was one of the more clutch defensive stops made by Golden State.
With a little under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the score all tied up against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, Draymond acknowledged Morant’s physical ability and had to make a quick decision.
“There’s not many people stopping Ja from getting to the rim,” Green said.
And going over film isn’t all about what was done right, it’s also about recognizing the mistakes and what could have been done differently.
“I am disgusted with myself, you don’t give up an offensive rebound with 1:40 to go,” Green said. “I had to check this corner guy, the corner crasher, I had to check him and I didn’t.”
But the pressure in the paint forced Memphis to settle for a three, which didn’t go in but was rebounded by the Grizzlies for another opportunity to take the lead, only for Draymond to block those hopes away and allow the Warriors to push the ball and regain possession.
Golden State, who currently leads the league in defensive rating, is also the best team in basketball right now.
And although it’s still early in the season, Draymond has high hopes of collecting his fourth championship ring.
“The aura around the team, the vibe around the team, you can feel it,” he said. “And I do think we have a legitimate chance to compete for a championship.”