Draymond Green is one of the best defenders in today's NBA and one of the best and most versatile defenders ever seen in the league. While he might not be the greatest defender ever, as he has described himself in the past, he is certainly a defensive genius. Green was the most important player on the defensive end of the court during the Golden State Warriors' run of three titles between 2015 and 2018.
Green has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award once in his career so far, and he's probably deserved another one during his great career. He is a unique player, as he is not spectacular offensively. However, he does whatever his team needs in big situations, such as a defensive stop, great hustle in defense, or a great pass.
Draymond Green's top three defensive seasons in terms of defensive rating (DRtg)
Last year, after the 2020-21 NBA regular season, Draymond Green was named a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. But the prize was ultimately won by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who's won three of the last four.
Still, Draymond Green is a defender that opposing offenses do not want to see on the court or give him chances to produce a great defensive player. To measure the individual impact of a defender, the complex formula of Defensive Rating can give us a solid estimation, and we will use it in this piece.
On Opening Night of the 2021-22 NBA season, Draymond Green helped the Golden State Warriors defeat the LA Lakers on the road with a 121-114 score. Green, a six-time All-Defensive player, contributed with the usual stat line of six points, eight rebounds and six assists with a steal.
In this article, we will give you Draymond Green's three-best defensive seasons of his NBA career based on his Defensive Rating.
Without further ado, let us take a look.
#3 2016-17 NBA season
In Kevin Durant's first season with the Golden State Warriors, the team were coming off a historic 2015-16 regular season and a heartbreaking loss in the 2016 NBA Finals. Draymond Green put on a great defensive display to help the team's nuclear offense.
In the regular season, the team went 67-15 and led the entire NBA, earning home-court advantage for the 2017 NBA Playoffs. They dominated the playoffs, going a record 16-1 and winning the NBA Finals.
The team also posted the best Offensive Rating in the NBA regular season, and the second-best Defensive Rating, at 104 points allowed per 100 possessions. Draymond Green went on to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award that year, after posting a 99 Defensive Rating (only 0.1 behind the best in the NBA) and leading the league in Defensive Box Plus/Minus.
Second in Defensive Rating in the NBA during the 2016-17 season was Draymond Green's best finish on that leaderboard during his 10-year career. Green made it to the All-Star Game that year and earned All-Defensive First-Team and All-NBA Third-Team honors too.
#2 2013-14 NBA season
In his second year in the NBA and his last season as a bench player (2013-14 campaign), Draymond Green still gave then-coach Mark Jackson a solid display defensively. He put up a 98 Defensive Rating and accumulated the required minutes to qualify among the league leaders in that department (at least 1,500 minutes played).
That year, Green played the entire regular season for the Golden State Warriors, and started just 12 times. He finished fifth in the NBA in Defensive Rating that year, the first of his three career appearances on that leaderboard.
In only 22 minutes per game during the 2013-14 NBA season, Draymond Green averaged 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game in the regular season.
#1 2014-15 NBA season
During the Golden State Warriors' first run to an NBA championship in the 2014-15 NBA campaign, a lot of the team's success came after some adjustments made by then-new head coach Steve Kerr. One of those tweaks was Draymond Green's new starting role.
That year, the team went 67-15 in the regular season, and Draymond Green started in all of his 79 appearances, averaging 11.7 points and 8.2 rebounds. He also started to show some of his playmaking abilities with 3.7 assists per game.
In traditional defensive stats, Green put up 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. In terms of Defensive Ratings, Green had the best year of his NBA career so far, with 97. That number was fourth in the NBA and second on the Golden State Warriors' roster behind Andrew Bogut's 96.8.
Also read: Golden State Warriors Rumors: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green wanted the team to keep Avery Bradley