Maybe the timing of this Draymond Green endorsement is a little odd. After all, he shot just 2-of-10 from the field in the Golden State Warriors' 108-104 overtime win against the host Cleveland Cavaliers.
But it's time for the Dubs to seriously consider increasing Green's role on the team.
Rumblings to that effect have been swirling around the Bay Area for a while now, and they got especially loud a few weeks ago when David Lee's defense deservedly became the subject of numerous YouTube gag reels.
For what it's worth, Lee has played much better since Andre Iguodala returned from a sore hamstring (as have the rest of the Warriors), but there's just no getting around the fact that Green gives Golden State more of what it needs on both ends.
Green was integral to the Warriors' win in Cleveland, turning away two Kyrie Irving drives down the stretch with remarkable help defense. In addition, he actually matched up on Irving individually late in overtime, a decision head coach Mark Jackson could make confidently because of Green's incredible versatility.
If that weren't enough, he drilled a go-ahead three at the 1:05 mark in the fourth quarter that put the Dubs up by three. Only an Irving triple with nine ticks remaining kept that bucket from being the game's final one.
Per Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News, Jackson said: "The energy and effort was contagious. Draymond was spectacular."
On the night, Green grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked four shots and posted a team-high plus/minus of plus-11. Lee, who scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting before fouling out, logged a much less impressive minus-four.
Single-game differentials like those can be misleading, as can lineup data from small samples this early in the season. But the fact is that Green provides the defensive versatility and gritty hustle the first unit needs. He has improved his shooting (37 percent from long range) to the point where he can function as a stretch 4, but Jackson seems unwilling to pry minutes away from Lee at the power forward position.
And as a matter of fact, Lee's ability to get his own shot in the post would be a boon to a second unit that absolutely can't score in the half court.
Because of Lee's stature in the locker room—and his bloated contract—he'll never wind up on the bench. All things being equal, though, the Warriors could benefit from finding a way to give Green more minutes.
I mean, the guy dominated the stretch run of a hotly contested game despite hitting just two shots. There aren't many players who can do that.