Draymond wants Defensive Player of the Year bad: 'I've been incredible'

Draymond wants Defensive Player of the Year bad: 'I've been incredible'

Draymond Green finished runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year Award voting the last two seasons.

Kawhi Leonard took home the hardware both times.

Does he think he has a shot to win it this year?

"That's definitely something that I want to win, extremely serious about trying to win that award," Draymond told The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday. "It's something you can look at and it can go one of two ways. Number one -- I don't think our defensive numbers will ever be extremely high or something off the wall because this team plays so fast ... it's dangerous for transition defense so it makes it tough.

"When you look at our defense, that's where we get hit at the most is in transition. When we get our set defense we're pretty good. So I look at the numbers and I think about those things, and then I also think about how this is a completely different type of defense -- it'll take a little time for all that to come together...

"I think I've been incredible defensively this year. It's one of the things that I really locked in on; I focused in on. I'm so locked in on that end of the basketball (court) right now. It's fun. And I think part of the reason I'm so locked in on it is because of everybody talking about what we can't do on that end and how we'll struglee on that end -- just all the doubt on that end from everyone -- it just has me at another place mentally."

Draymond is averaging 2.2 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.

Through 13 games, the Warriors are allowing 108.6 points per contest -- the fifth worst mark in the league.

The Spurs (97.6ppg) are sixth.

"When I look at that and say, 'Man our numbers our low, I wonder if people will vote for me?' Honestly, I don't think that will affect it ... this is no disrespect to Kawhi (Leonard), but the Spurs' defensive numbers will probably always be better than ours. Their pace is probably always a lot slower than ours, so they're usually playing a set defense, not getting beat in transition as much.

"If that did cost me, then hey, so be it. I'm trying to make it to the point this year where it will be hard to deny me that award. That's my focus and that's what I'm gonna try to do.

"I'm not a selfish guy when it comes to awards or stats ... this is one thing I'm very selfish about. I want to win that Defensive Player of the Year Award bad."

Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr explain why KD took six shots vs. Pistons

Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr explain why KD took six shots vs. Pistons

Kevin Durant is a four-time NBA scoring champion. He's averaging 18.6 shots per game this season, and 18.8 for his career.

So, seeing a box score where he attempted six shots in 35 minutes is strange.

After the Warriors beat the Pistons 121-114 on Sunday night in Oakland, Durant and head coach Steve Kerr addressed his low shot total in Golden State's bounce-back win.

"Kevin is such a great, talented player that he can just do whatever he wants on the floor," Kerr told the media at Oracle. "So, he decided to be a distributor tonight. Obviously, 11 assists, I thought his defense was great. He's just one of those guys that's so talented that whatever he chooses to do that night, that's what he does."

Durant took a big-picture outlook on his stat line.

"I'm a well-rounded player and I can still affect the game without taking a bunch of shots," Durant told the media. "I thought I passed the ball well, I thought I played a great floor game. I know you're used to putting me in a box as a player, but I've grown."

In the Warriors' loss to the Mavericks on Saturday, Durant took 25 shots. Steph Curry sat out, putting the onus on Durant to carry the offense. But he wasn't happy with how he played against Dallas, and didn't want to make the same mistakes against Detroit.

"I didn't want to force shots tonight, and some of the shots I would have took tonight would have been forced, and last night I forced a bunch," Durant said.

[RELATED: Kerr on Curry's rest plan]

Durant finished with 14 points, 11 assists and five rebounds.

Warriors playing long game when it comes to resting Steph Curry

Warriors playing long game when it comes to resting Steph Curry

OAKLAND -- The Warriors can be sensitive about the subject of Steph Curry’s workload. He wants to play every game while striving to be a great husband and father and also making broad use of his massive social platform.

The Warriors understand all of this, and they do not want to obstruct any of it.

Yet workload management is one of the reasons Rick Celebrini was hired last summer to serve as the team’s director of Sports Medicine and Performance. Aided by high-tech fitness tools, he monitors every player for fatigue levels and beyond.

As much as the Warriors hope to nab the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, if not the NBA, everything goes through Celebrini. He is the gatekeeper of player availability. He decided that DeMarcus Cousins will not play in back-to-back games this season, that Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will remain on routine body-maintenance programs and that Curry should miss the occasional game – such as Saturday against the Mavericks.

Curry seemed to benefit from the rest.

He scored 11 points in the first quarter Sunday and finished with team-high 26 in a 121-114 win over the Detroit Pistons.

With Curry, assuming he’s not injured, it’s a fine line. With the other veterans, the decisions are much more defined. Cousins is coming off a major injury, Iguodala and Livingston are mid-30s veterans requiring rest at regular intervals.

“Each player, we look at individually,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. “With DeMarcus, we made the decision based on Rick’s assessment that he should just not play back-to-backs this season. So, he’s not going to.

“Andre and Shaun both, periodically we’ve been giving rest to for the last several years based on the age and wear and tear.

“And then, every once in a while, it will come up that Rick will recommend we give somebody a rest. Last night it was Steph.”

[RELATED: What we learned from Warriors' win over Pistons]

Sitting Curry was precautionary, according to Kerr. His work schedule and his numerous off-the-court endeavors leave him open to overload.

“He’s been going a couple months straight and has looked a little tired the last couple weeks,” Kerr said. “It made perfect sense. We will be better for it in the long run.”

It definitely looked that way on Sunday.