Draymond Green calls All-Defensive second-team selection a slight
All-Defensive voters paid Draymond Green a tremendous compliment by putting him on the second team despite the Warriors forward playing just 46 games.Green, via Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area:
“There’s not some amount that you have to play in order to win,” Green continued on Tuesday. “If there was an amount that you had to play in order to win, then I’d be an idiot sitting here saying that … There’s just kind of this thought from people that, ‘Ah, you played this amount of games.’
“But what you had to see, I think it’d be hard for someone to come and show me better, especially not five guys.”
There are no minimum number of games to qualify for NBA awards (yet?). But I rank players by the sum of their defensive impact during the regular season. You can’t make a defensive impact when not on the court. Many voters share a similar approach.
Green was probably the NBA’s best defender while healthy. But he missed a lot of time.
Did Green make a larger defensive impact in 1,329 minutes or Giannis Antetokounmpo 2,204 minutes? Green in 1,329 minutes or Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2,126 minutes? Green in 1,329 minutes or Bam Adebayo 1,825 minutes?
There are good reasons Green finished fourth among forwards in All-Defensive voting.
In fact, Green played nearly 400 minutes fewer than any other forward who got even a single All-Defensive vote. Only Bulls guard Alex Caruso (1,147 minutes) and Warriors guard Gary Payton II (1,247 minutes), who each got a few votes, played less among all vote-getters, and the bar is usually lower at guard.
Just two other players have ever made an All-Defensive team while playing fewer games than Green did – Andrei Kirilenko (41 games with the 2004-05 Jazz) and Scottie Pippen (44 games with the 1997-98 Bulls)
Yet, Green deserved to make the second team because he was that good while on the court.
It’s a compliment.
Of course, Green doesn’t take it that way. He’ll embellish any perceived slight for motivation. Griping about award voting is also well-worn territory for Green. If he locks up the Celtics in the NBA Finals, he can talk about how wrong voters got this.
But everyone already realizes Green is a great defender.
That’s why he made the All-Defensive second team despite missing so much of the season.