4 games through the 2022 NBA Finals, and somehow Draymond Green has been the trending name. Whether it be his post-game podcasts, or his ridiculously poor play, there is a lot of room for the haters to talk. Most recently, Green was benched for about 4 minutes in the fourth quarter of Game 4 because he could not impact the game on both ends of the floor. He didn’t seem bothered by it, he just wanted the Warriors to win, but something has been off with him. Is there any way for him to get past the Celtics defense to help Golden State?
A big issue for Draymond throughout his career, he has not been able to stay away from the refs. Getting in early foul trouble has been a ticket for Green to the bench, and it seems like he just doesn’t learn from it. To put things into perspective, he has more fouls than points through the first 4 games of The Finals. Some of these fouls are ill advised, while others can be questionable. The thing is, Green’s value is based on the defensive end. If he can’t be aggressive on defense because of fouls, and can’t be a factor on offense (which he hasn’t this series), he is not useful at all. He’s fouled out in 2 of the first 4 games, and can’t afford to do it anymore. If he can stay at 2 fouls by halftime, it’s almost a guarantee that he’s going to have a good game. The entire Warriors team feeds off of his defensive energy, and without it, there’s less flow.
Off Ball Movement
The Dubs thrive off of their movement away from the ball. The Splash Brothers have revolutionized the way to score through it. A big part of their success comes from Draymond Green spacing the floor, then finding the right pass to make. After all, Green does have 200 assists in The Finals, the ninth player to do so. These last few games, though, have been different. It’s been Steph Curry having to create his own shot most of the time, as Boston has done a really good job of keeping up with the Warriors on defense. Klay has been off on his shot, which lessens the confidence of how this offense operates. Draymond is at fault as well. When Draymond gets the ball, his teammates do a good job of running around him to get a shot, or cutting to the basket. They have continued to do that, but Green just hasn’t found them. The less and less this game plan works, the less Steve Kerr will put it into use. Draymond has to find a way to get the ball at the top of the key, and make the right pass. It makes the Warriors offense look effortless, and Green is making his offensive impact.
Switches on Defense
Oftentimes, Green has been found getting bullied in the paint by Al Horford or Robert Williams. Not just that, but when he fails to switch onto his original defender following a Pick and Roll attempt, it often leads to a Celtic getting an easy layup. This falls into a lack of communication by Green and his teammates. This isn’t an easy fix when Jayson Tatum is initiating the screen, but it is something that has to force an adjustment. It just gets too easy for Boston to find points in the paint.
Top Photo: San Francisco Chronicle