Warriors

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals his main focus for regular season

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals his main focus for regular season

It's going to be very difficult for Draymond Green to win Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Obviously, he still is on the short list for best defenders in the NBA. But the reality is that the Warriors probably are not going to be a very good defensive team in 2019-20, and that will impact Draymond's candidacy.

But capturing the trophy for the second time isn't on the 2017 DPOY's mind.

“There’s no doubt I will have a great year,” Draymond recently told Mark Medina of USA Today Sports. “But my focus every day coming into the season can’t be on Defensive Player of the Year. It can’t be this or that.

"It has to be bringing this team together and making this work. Then if I bring this team together and make this work, all of those things will take care of themselves.”

Although Draymond believes the Dubs will come together and get back to the NBA Finals for the sixth straight year, they are not the favorites in the Western Conference.

In fact, many people in the basketball world believe they will struggle just to make the playoffs. Klay Thompson is out until late February at the earliest, and the team isn't nearly as deep as it was in years past.

There just isn't as much individual defensive talent on the roster, and there most likely will be many occasions this season in which Draymond gets visibly frustrated at a poor defensive rotation or missed assignment.

"I'll definitely have to step it up," the three-time All-Star said Monday at Media Day. "We don't have as good as defenders as we had. I don't think that's any surprise. We just gotta find our identity.

"Once we figure that out, we'll be fine."

[RELATED'Playoff diet' Draymond to abstain from two things all year]

And if Golden State doesn't find a true identity on the defensive end of the floor, don't be surprised if Draymond adapts and has his best offensive season yet.

In 2015-16, he averaged career highs in points (14.0), assists (7.4), field goal percentage (49.0) and 3-point shooting (38.8). If the Warriors get that version of the two-time All-NBA selection, they almost assuredly will be playing in late April.

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NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

If the Warriors select 19-year-old Deni Avdija in the early stages of the 2020 NBA Draft, they'll be picking a player who appears to have been a fan of the franchise for at least a quarter of his life.

The Israeli-Serbian forward has been lighting up the Israeli Basketball Premier League for Maccabi Tel Aviv, averaging 18.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. ESPN's NBA draft guru Mike Schmitz describes Avdija as an "aggressive offensive player who is in attack mode every time he steps onto the floor," who, "loves shooting pull-up 3-pointers in transition."

Hmmm. Sound familiar?

That would seem to mirror the way the Warriors played throughout their (still ongoing?) dynastic run. Given a photo posted to Avdija's Instagram in September of 2016, it would appear he has been a fan of Golden State for some time.

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מה זה בית ספר #🇪🇸

A post shared by Deni Avdija (@deniavdia8) on

That's the Warriors 2015 NBA Champions hat that Avdija is wearing while apparently sailing off the coast of Spain. A good-looking hat for an even better view.

[RELATED: Watch potential Dubs draft target Avdija dominate in Israel]

Just throwing this out there, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess he's a pretty big fan of Steph Curry, too.

Maybe, just maybe, they'll be teammates within a few months, and Avdija will have more Warriors apparel than he'll know what to do with.

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaquille O'Neal won't back down from this debate.

The Hall of Fame center is 100 percent convinced his three-peat Los Angeles Lakers were better than the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant-led Warriors.

Shaq has made it clear over the last two years that he believes the 1999 through 2002 championship Lakers would have easily beaten the 2016 through 2019 Warriors in a hypothetical matchup.

The Diesel even claimed that the Warriors wouldn't have been a contender during the Lakers' dominant run.

But in an interview with Maxim Magazine published Tuesday, Shaq said the Lakers starters would have won every 1-on-1 matchup with the Warriors.

Brace yourselves, Warriors fans.

"I have a hard time believing that the greatest coach of all time (Phil Jackson), plus me and Kobe [Bryant], wouldn’t match up quite nicely against Steve Kerr and his gang," Shaq said. "Kobe takes Steph and dominates him. [Derek] Fisher takes Klay and manhandles him. [Rick] Fox takes Draymond and makes him foul out in the first half. Horace [Grant] would do his thing with K.D. But let’s be real, K.D., is a beast, and you can only do so much with him. And then I’d remind [Zaza] Pachulia why I am in the Hall of Fame and he is not."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Where do we even begin?

Yes, Kobe was an elite defender, but Curry is a generational talent. He would not have been dominated by Bryant. Steph against a prime Kobe would have been must-see TV, but it wouldn't have been as one-sided as Shaq believes.

If Shaq thinks Klay would be manhandled by anyone, let alone Fisher, he hasn't watched the Warriors shooting guard enough. Thompson has five inches on Fisher and would just shoot right over him.

If Fox tried to bully Draymond, the Warriors forward would pull a Doug Christie and sock him in the jaw. Draymond's motor would give him the edge in that matchup.

Durant would get his against Grant or any other defender the Lakers threw at him. You know who he is. He's Kevin Durant.

The only matchup the Lakers win hands down is Shaq vs. Zaza. Sorry, Zaza.

Shaq's Lakers were able to do something the Warriors weren't able to do: Three-peat. But Golden State very likely would have accomplished the feat if Durant and Thompson had been healthy for the entirety of the 2019 NBA Finals.

[RELATED: Why Curry, Dubs would dominate Lakers]

Yes, Shaq has every right to defend his Lakers teams, but to say they would completely dominate those Warriors teams is a bit far-fetched. Before Durant arrived, the Warriors won 73 games. After he signed, they steamrolled the league on their way to back-to-back NBA titles, and could have three-peated.

This debate will never be settled, but one thing is for sure. Shaq won't let it go.