Draymond Green Says Kevin Durant Is His Defensive Player of the Year so Far

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 25:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors high five during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 25, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green endorsed Golden State Warriors teammate Kevin Durant as the leading candidate for the award this season following Wednesday's 126-101 win over the Utah Jazz.

When asked about whether Durant is in the running for the award, Green said he believes KD is in the driver's seat, as seen in this video courtesy of The Athletic's Anthony Slater:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Draymond Green, last year's DPOY, says Kevin Durant is his Defensive Player of the Year to this point: "I'm not sure it's a race" https://t.co/begOsBQ0IM

Durant is in the midst of a 10-game streak during which he has registered at least two blocks in every contest.

Green said he doesn't believe the Defensive Player of the Year picture is much of a race due to Durant's dominance and added that the veteran forward has been "spectacular" defensively.

He also said he would vote for Durant right now if given the opportunity.

Durant also sounded off on his defensive contributions, noting that he was happy to be recognized for that aspect of his game, per ESPN.com'sΒ Chris Haynes:

"It's cool that people are starting to recognize me for more than just a scorer. I've been trying to shake that rap for about since 2012. So when people start to notice what you do, I mean obviously, it's not all you do it for ... but when fans watching the games, and anybody watching the game, you want them to see what you do. I try to impact the game as much as I can on both ends of the floor."

Durant is a four-time scoring champion who is putting up 26.1 points per game this season, but he is also thriving on the defensive end to the tune of 7.1 rebounds and a career-high 2.3 blocks per game.

His defensive prowess was especially noticeable on Christmas Day when he guarded LeBron James for much of Golden State's 99-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, limiting him to 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting.

PerΒ Fox Sports, Durant is seventh in the NBA in plus-minus this season at plus-237, placing him in the top 10 along with Warriors teammates Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Green.

Durant has never been named to an NBA All-Defensive team during his 11-year career, but that seems likely to change in 2017-18 regardless of whether he is named the league's top defensive player.