Golden State Warriors: Why Draymond Green is the X-factor

Draymond Green may not have the flashiest game around but his buoyant attitude on the hardwood and resiliency makes him a valuable player for the Golden State Warriors.

draymond green

Draymond Green is no longer an unsung hero.

Is he the fastest? No way. Is he the strongest? Negative. None of the physical measurements really matter for Green though. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Green is a hybrid weapon who can be extremely effective at either the small forward or power forward spot.

Green is not a starter for the Warriors but he has plenty of time to make his way into the starting rotation. The guy is only 24 years old and continues to get better each and every time he hits the floor. Quite honestly, Green thrives as a bench player because he is like hidden ammo for an already potent Warriors squad.

Okay, maybe the numbers Green puts up are not eye-popping. Nonetheless, this former Michigan State standout is exactly what he was in college, a stat sheet stuffer. In the 2013-2014 season, Green averaged 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 21.9 minutes per game,while playing in all 82 regular season games on the Warriors’ schedule. The free-throw shooting at 66.7 % was not good but Green is a worker who will try to fix his woes at the charity stripe.

In the 2014 playoffs, Green looked as if he was ready to take a big step in the right direction in his career.  Warriors center Andrew Bogut went down with a fractured right rib that kept him out of playoff action. Thus, Green emerged as an extra big body for the Warriors in their first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.

His numbers from the regular season increased in the 2014 playoffs to 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 32.6 minutes a game. Even his free-throw percentage jumped up to 79.2%. Not to mention, he averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 steals in the first round also. Don’t forget that while Green was improving his numbers, he was also assigned with the task of containing Clippers superstar Blake Griffin. Green did a great job of heckling Griffin despite a disadvantage in size.

Green has a big heart and it has been greatly displayed since he came into the league as the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Yeah, he was a second-rounder. So what? Green has major game. Name the job and he can get it done if his number is called. This guy was not loved by head coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State for no reason. Green will not back down from anyone or any challenge.

The Warriors are not a team that is under the radar anymore, which means a lot of teams are looking to knock them off their high horse. Former head coach Mark Jackson shifted the culture of the franchise into a winning culture.Why was he fired? That’s a story for another time because firing Jackson was pointless. Anyway, Steve Kerr has taken the reigns as head coach and for him to succeed, he will need players like Green to back him up. Green is a glue guy. A player who can pick up the pieces when the stars are not feeling it on any given night. Therefore, Green is just what the Warriors need in terms of helping the franchise improve as they go into next year.

Green was recently selected as a player on the 2014 USA Basketball Select Team alongside Warriors teammate Harrison Barnes. The team just finished up training with the National Team in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 28-31. Green got the privilege to work with stars such as Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose during training. Hey, he is a USA Select Team member now. Not bad for Green, who is starting to get some of the kudos he deserves.



  • AndrewM

    Izzo and his family are so close to Dae Dae for all of the best reasons to care about someone. Dray is an exceptionally hard worker, loyal, always striving to improve; a man of integrity and respect, and never in awe of anyone, no matter the size or position of that other player. He is intelligent and personally generous, all in all a great teamate (sp). Watching Dray play game after game, minute for minute, he has the heart of a champion, and along with Andrew Bogut, has been teaching, both verbally and with actions, the entire Warrior team to be better defenders. Klay Thompson is constantly pushed by Dray, to continue working, every minute on the court, and he has made huge defensive improvements! Harrison Barnes has improved radically too. As a player, he shows that you need to give your all for your teammates. That is the chemistry that thw W’s have built, and will continue to build on in the 2014-15 season. You play hard until you can’t play anymore. Very impressive!

  • Michael Thompson

    Mark Jackson knew how to work with Draymond and find a role for him. Under a different coach, Dray might not have made it. (I am biased, because Dae Dae is from Saginaw and I used to work at a rec site where he would come during summer when he was 8 years old.)

  • Deuce Baggins

    Jackson was fired because, no matter how significant the culture change he presided over was, the offense sputtered. He refused to work with experienced assistant coaches to improve it after being directed to do so by management. The Front office then hired someone who was willing to do as they asked. It’s too bad, and I hope coach Jackson learns from this and is even more successful in his next head coaching effort, which I’m sure he will get.

  • BuzzK

    The front office got the warriors into the W column, not Mark Jackson. Jackson was fired because he is a commentator, a talker. Not a coach. Not a strategist and not a leader. He created division in the coaching ranks and worked his position as a preacher to manipulate players. His offense was clumsy. His relations with staff, tense. In short, he was incompetant and that is why NO ONE has picked him up. Back to yapping on TV & preaching fire & brimstone from street corners for MJ.