Draymond Green’s defense a pleasant surprise this summer

July 23, 2012 in Cover Story, Professional

By Patrick Hayes

Continuing a theme I’ve used with Darius Morris and Keith Benson, I decided to reach out to a Golden State Warriors writer for some feedback on Draymond Green since I don’t trust myself to be a non-biased cheerleader when it comes to players with Michigan ties playing for NBA roster spots.

Nate Parham (follow him on Twitter) writes about the Golden State Warriors for Golden State of Mind and also covers the WNBA for Swish Appeal. He sent this report after watching Green’s performance in Vegas:

1. The one thing I think Warriors fans worried about was whether all of the versatility Green showed at MSU would transfer well to the NBA. While he might not be quite as dynamic in the NBA as he was at MSU, it’s clear that his combination of basketball IQ and skill will make him a contributor in the league.

2. He was outstanding working in the high post on offense where he could make the right pass to shooters or turn on bigger guys and drive. When you look at the Warriors’ roster – filled with capable shooters – that just seems like a great fit as you could imagine him facilitating scoring opportunities in sets flanked by shooters or working the high-low.

3. A lot of people had questions about Green’s defensive ability as a pro, but I’ve actually been impressed but what he’s done. He’s an active defender, very vocal in directing teammates, and a smart help defender. He led the Warriors summer league squad averaging nearly 8 rebounds per game. The thing Warriors fans have questioned about him is that he picked a lot of fouls in summer league but part of that was that he has active hands and the other part was that summer league officiating is sometimes suspect (to put it lightly).

4. At this point, I’m really just looking forward to seeing what Green can do both with and against NBA regular season competition – rebounding is a skill that translates well and that should help him earn minutes on a Warriors team that was a sub-par rebounding team last season. But he also seems like that type of player who will look even better if he’s playing with better players who can make the right reads on offense and have the same understanding of positioning defensively. Seeing him at summer league only reinforced the notion that the Warriors got a bargain in the second round.