Draymond Green on 'Crazy' All-Defense Snub: There Isn't 5 Better Players Than Me

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Rose, right, shoots against Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was named a second-team All-Defense selection in the 2017-18 season, and on Monday he expressed his astonishment at being left off the first team.

"I was second-team all-defense. That’s crazy..." he said, per Logan Murdock of the Bay Area News Group. "I don't think any voter can tell me five defensive players better than me... I'll wait."

First-team selections included Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the New Orleans Pelicans pair of Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, Indiana Pacers wing Victor Oladipo and Philadelphia 76ers wing Robert Covington.

Green was put on the second team alongside Sixers center Joel Embiid, Boston Celtics big man Al Horford, San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray and Minnesota Timberwolves wing Jimmy Butler.

Green's resume certainly suggests that he's one of the truly elite defensive players in the NBA. He was the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year and has been a first-team All-Defensive selection three times. The three-time All-Star serves as Golden State's defensive anchor and helped lead the team to the NBA's ninth best defensive rating (104.20) last season.

He did miss 12 games, however, battling with injuries throughout the year. And with Green on the court, the Warriors allowed 103.7 points per 100 possessions. When he was off the court, that number only rose slightly to 104.9.

While that's a general testament to Golden State's overall talent and team defense, that didn't compare favorably to players like Gobert (97.7 defensive rating on court, 105.0 defensive rating off) or Davis (103.5 on, 110.2 off), whose teams had a high discrepancy in defensive rating between when they played and didn't play.

Green's contributions, it can be fairly argued, go beyond statistics. But it's also fair to argue that Green wasn't quite as impactful on the defensive end as he's shown to be in years past. Regardless, he appears motivated to prove he's the best defensive player in the NBA during the 2018-19 season.

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