Michigan State has been a team in disarray for most of the season. Head coach Tom Izzo was forced to serve a 1-game suspension, Korie Lucious was dismissed from the team, Kalin Lucas was coming back from an Achilles injury and the team has had very inconsistent play from two of their star players.
Durrell Summers was one of those players, but he was the target of my last article so I will leave him alone for now.
Now my focus turns to the other inconsistent star on MSU’s team: Draymond Green.
Most people rave about Draymond Green and his abilities, but I have never been quite sold on him. Yes, he has some great games—like when he recorded a triple-double against Penn State—but he has a tendency to disappear from game to game.
Since his triple-double, he has been held under 10 pts in 4 of the last 6 games. In two of those games he was 3 of 12 from the field against Purdue and 3 of 14 from the field against Michigan. I know he had a stomach virus and a sprained ankle, but even a sick Draymond Green should not shoot that poorly.
The Dancing Bear is undoubtedly the team’s vocal leader and does possess a great number of skills. I am not trying to downplay his ability (you do not record a triple-double by being a scrub), but I am calling for more consistency from one of the team’s best players.
One of the ways that Green can get back to being consistent is by playing down low. It is here where Green does most of his damage offensively, but he often does not use it. He has been shooting too many three pointers this year, which is not only a lower percentage shot, but it takes him away from the glass where he does his best work.
His passing skills are a great attribute for a big man, but he is a much better passer down low than he is on the perimeter. If Green can get down low and score early against Iowa— Michigan's first-round opponent at the Big Ten Tournament—it will be a long game for the Hawkeyes.
If they do advance past Iowa and square off with Purdue again, Green needs to get back to being the player that Tom Izzo recruited, not the player Draymond Green wants to be.
In order for the Spartans to make a deep run, Green needs to be at his best. Lucas can only carry the team so far and with Summers struggling to shoot the ball, Green needs to pick up some of the slack. I still think Summers is ready to break out (he had 13 pts with 13 rebounds vs. Michigan), but until then, Green needs to play at a consistent level. If Michigan State wants to do anything in the postseason, and/or next season, Green needs to start leading by the way he plays in addition to leading with his voice.
Michigan State vs. Iowa prediction:
Green's stat line: 16 pts on 6/10 shooting (1 of 3 from 3-pt, 3/4 FT) with 12 rebounds. I predicted Summers to have 15 pts vs. Michigan and he had 13. Lets hope Green matches/exceeds my prediction for this game.