While he may play for a team known for their offensive weaponry, Draymond Green is one of the fiercest defenders in the league right now. He’s made the All-Defensive First Team two years in a row, and seems on track for a third. But it’s not enough for Green.
Green doesn’t just want to be on the Defensive first team, he wants to win Defensive Player of the Year. In a recent press conference, Green talked about the defensive efforts of Golden State and how he’s the anchor of it all. He also made clear his intentions to win DPOTY.
“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 struggle on that end — just all the doubt on that end from everyone — it just has me at another place mentally.”
Though he made his intentions clear, Green also wanted to clarify that he meant no disrespect to the reigning DPOTY, Kawhi Leonard. He sung his praises and said that he planned to beat him by being so undeniable that they couldn’t give the award to anyone else.
“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.”
Finally, he wanted to emphasize that he cares first and foremost about his team, and that he plays unselfishly on the court. He stressed that this one the one selfish aspect of his game.
“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.”