The rise and rise of Draymond Green
Draymond Green achieved stardom in the NBA last season and went on to be a superstar in the NBA Finals. Playing a small-ball center against the bigs of Cleveland, he used his agility, vision and ball handling to facilitate tearing the Cavs apart. The looming question at the end of the Championship campaign was, will he be able to enjoy the same kind of success in 2015-16. If coaches thought they had Green figured out, Coach Kerr and Luke Walton definitely had other plans!
The triple-double machine:
Draymond Green has logged 8 triple-doubles in his team’s 42 games in this season so far. If he continues this pace, he should be able to log just about 16 triple doubles by the end of the season. That would be the most number of triple-doubles anyone not named Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan would have logged in a single season since Magic Johnson’s 17 in 1988-89 and 1990-91, and His Airness’ 16 in 1988-89.
Here’s a stat table from Basketball Reference listing the most number of triple-doubles in a single season since 1988-89: http://www.basketball-reference.com/pi/shareit/x421H
Defense meets ball-movement:
Draymond made it to All-NBA First Defensive Team last year and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting to a certain NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard. But for doubters who thought Green was all about the D and was an offensive mismatch in the Warriors, he has made one thing absolutely clear, he keeps this engine running. He leads the team in assists at 7.4 assists per game and is the perfect channel for the Splash brothers, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson, averaging a combined 50+ points a game to go out and splash, but he’s made one thing clear, you need Money to Splash (Draymond’s Twitter handle is @Money23Green)!
Beating LeBron at his own game:
For years, LeBron has been the go-to man in the league, when it comes to the leading assist providing Forward. Only once in James’ career has another listed Forward had more Assists Per Game than him, Tracy McGrady in 2006-07. T-Mac had 6.4 APG that year to Bron’s 6. LeBron still logged more assists through the season though on the back of more games. Now this is a different season. James is averaging 6 assists at the midway point of the season while Green is averaging a whopping 7.4, a number James could find extremely difficult to reach given how his Cavs are moving the ball. Green is on pace to have a 600+ assist season (he currently has 303), and if he can do it, he will do something King James has done only once in his career (659 assists in 2009-10). Not surprisingly, only one listed Forward since LeBron’s debut has reached the 600-assist mark!
Green’s career has a long way to go, but if he can continue playing this way, the young Warriors will be maturing the way Green has matured in his young career, at a really scary pace!