2016-17 NBA Awards Predictions: Will Draymond Green Finally Wint the DPOY?

By John Davidson
on Apr 14, 2017 08:09 PM EDT
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Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors has been the runner-up to Kawhi Leonard for the Defensive Player of the Year Award in the past couple of seasons. As part of our 2016-17 NBA Awards predictions, will Green finally win the DPOY this season?

The race for the this season's NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is down to three players - Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gobert. Leonard is a favorite of many but he has regressed defensively this season since he was involved more in the offense for the San Antonio Spurs.

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, Draymond Green deserves to win the DPOY this season over Kawhi Leonard Rudy Gobert. He pointed out the regression in Leonard's defense but it's a close call between Green and Gobert.

"The Stifle Tower" is the best low-post defender in the NBA today and he is improving his defense on the perimeter when teams switched during a pick-and-roll play. He is also the anchor for the Utah Jazz, one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season.

However, Draymond Green has shown this season that he is the best defensive player in the NBA. He can guard the post and the perimeter. His protection around the rim has the same effect as Rudy Gobert but he can also guard perimeter players with ease.

Draymond Green also averaged 2.0 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this season. He is only the tenth player to ever average those defensive numbers in the history of the NBA, per Basketball-Reference. Some of the players who have done it include Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Julius Irving.

In an interview with USA Today, Draymond Green made a case for why he should win the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He pointed out that he likes Rudy Gobert's defense but he is a better defender because he can guard the perimeter more effectively.

"Rudy is great at what he does, and I think he has changed games. But I think this is, like you said, a guard-heavy league and being able to switch onto guards and being able to defend one through five, just being able to play no matter who's out there on the floor, and you're not at a disadvantage, I think it helps," Green said.


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