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Draymond Green says Andrew Bogut taught him how to play NBA defense

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 27: Draymond Green #23 high-fives Andrew Bogut #12 of the Golden State Warriors during their game against the Dallas Mavericks at ORACLE Arena on January 27, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Andrew Bogut was the anchor of the 2015 champion Golden State Warriors — and if he doesn’t get injured halfway through the 2016 Finals that may have turned out differently as well. The Australian big man was never a high flier who came screaming in from the weakside to block a shot into the third row, rather he was just smart — always in the right position, always reading the play well, anticipating, and being one step ahead of the offense and shutting off lanes to the basket.

Bogut joined the Warriors for the 2012-13 season, the same season they brought in one Draymond Green.

Green credited Bogut with teaching him how to play NBA defense, speaking to Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell in an interview for ABC/ESPN (which is broadcasting The Finals).

“I’ll never forget it,” Green said. “My first day out at Golden State he was teaching me different things you could do that you couldn’t do in college and throughout the course of that year just teaching me positioning.

“I wouldn’t be half the defender I am without Andrew Bogut. He taught me so much about defence that I owe all my success to him, defensively.”

Green has had a lot of success — the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, three-time NBA All-Defense, and his post defense and rim protection anchor the small ball lineups that have propelled the Golden State Warriors to two NBA titles. Green is athletic and strong, but like Bogut it’s his ability to read the play and anticipate that makes him special.