“EVERYBODY LOVES DRAYMOND”
article was previously written on 11-27-15
On a team with arguably the best pure shooter the world has ever seen in Steph Curry, as well as fellow All-Star Klay Thompson, known together as the “Splash Brothers”, other players on the Golden State Warriors may have an excuse note for being overlooked.
With the “Splash Brothers” leading the “Dubs” to the 2015 NBA Championship with a resounding 4-2 series win over a LeBron James led Miami Heat team, there was one player throughout the season who came out of the shadows and straight into the limelight.
Enter a player considered to be a tweener (no real position) with no jump-shot, very weak ball handling, but is tough as nails. Insert Draymond Green. A second round pick (35th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Michigan State, the 6’7″, 235 pound Green played an integral part during the Warriors championship run. While it became clear Green, otherwise known as the “Dancing Bear” (for his squat frame, quick feet, and jovial attitude) can play in the NBA, what happened over this past summer shows what hard work can do.
While Curry is playing like himself (2015 NBA MVP, avg. 32pts.), Green has become the NBA’s most improved and one of it’s best players. Playing a measly 13 minutes a game as a rookie in 2012-13, he has exploded onto the NBA landscape this season helping the Warriors get off to a 16-0 record, while hearing whispers from the NBA world of being a team with a legitimate chance of breaking the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for regular season wins with 71.
Playing 3 positions (SF,PF,C), Green has been spectacular, averaging 12.7pts, 7.8reb, 6.6ast, 1.3blk in just over 34 minutes a game. He is in essence the glue to a team that plays as uptempo as any team in recent history. His ball-handling has improved exponentially to the tune of being a one man fast-break. Seeing a 235 pound man grab a rebound and lead the fast break is a sight to behold, hence the fact he is leading the team in assists and rebounds. With the majority of the opposing defenses focusing heavily on Curry and Thompson, Green has shown off his much improved shooting range.
Shooting a respectable 48% from the field and 43.5% from 3 point range, he brings the entire offense to another level where no other NBA team this season has had a chance to contain, while also being a ferocious defender. From being a bench player his rookie year to steadily improving each year after, the “Dancing Bear” should be on his way to being a first time All-Star and possible second time NBA World Champion.
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