As was the case for much of the last decade, the Golden State Warriors are perched atop the NBA this season in large part because of a stifling defense. Anchoring that unit is Draymond Green, arguably the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year through two months.
Recently, Green sat down with ESPN’s Doris Burke to analyze some defensive clips and provide insight into his thought process on each play. Here’s a snippet. It is brilliant:
Just Listen To Draymond Breakdown His Defense! pic.twitter.com/vER9RqCKtn
— ²³ (@PlayoffDraymond) December 17, 2021
The whole video spans five minutes and is absolutely worth your time.
So much of basketball analysis for writers and fans is a guessing game, trying to understand why and how a team or player makes a certain decision. Unless someone is entirely privy to every scheme and tendency, errors are baked into our perception of players and teams.
Green’s film room session with Burke eliminates some of that mystery, and produces masterful soundbites such as “at some point, like, you have to expect that your defense is going to break down.” It is not hard to see why Green has joined the TNT crew for broadcasts in the past.
He’s the best team defender in the NBA and hearing him explain why he executed a rotation and how he did so makes me a smarter basketball consumer. On the final play of the clip, he even holds himself accountable for not boxing out Kyle Anderson and notes the impact of that decision, as it prevents him from leading the fast break to set up Stephen Curry for an open shot.
Players and media earnestly breaking down film together enriches every fan’s basketball knowledge. Hopefully, we continue to see more of this.