Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green (PF-GSW)
Statistics can’t tell the entire story of how great a defensive player Draymond Green is. It’s hard to convey defensive skill through stats for at all so unless you’re living under a rock and don’t realize how good Green is on that end, I’ll have to do my best to show you what he’s capable of.
To start, check out this clip of him brilliantly switching onto James Harden and forcing him into a bad shot.
That’s the best isolation player in the league right there. You can imagine how the rest of the league fares when Green is jawing at them from a crouched stance.
According to NBA Stats, Green defended on 191 iso plays (first in the NBA) in 2015-16 and held the opponent to 30.5 percent from the field, good for the 85th percentile in efficiency.
At 6-foot-7 Green is arguably the best post defender in the league. He’s holding post up players to 31.4 percent shooting on 175 possessions, good for 89th percentile in efficiency. If you don’t believe the numbers, just ask LeBron James.
Then of course there’s the unstoppable lineup with Green at the center position. The Warriors score an incredible 142 points while allowing just 95 (per 100 possessions) with the lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, and Green. Opponent’s shoot just 38.5 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from three-point range while the Green at the 5 lineup is on the floor.
As much as we love to praise Curry, without Green the Warriors aren’t a championship squad.