Watching the same team go to the NBA Finals five years in a row is getting a little boring.
Ok … so maybe it’s not that boring because it is interesting to be a part of this history-making dynasty. We are talking Lakers, Bulls, Celtics type dynasties.
The Warriors are still on top of the NBA odds boards as favorites to win it all. So, even with the Bucks seeming like a charging freight train as well, why are the Warriors so heavily favored and what makes them so effective as a team?
The biggest factor to the Golden State Warriors success is not Stephen Curry. It’s not Klay Thompson. And it’s not Kevin Durant. It’s Draymond Green.
Not only is he one of the best defensive players in the league, but Draymond Green also has a court IQ that rivals any top point guard in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors have a ton of talent. But most teams don’t have a power forward that can make decisions as well as Green, especially while attacking the weak side.
It goes beyond being great ball handler for a bigger player, who can not only shoot well and distribute the ball but handle difficult passes while moving in and out of the lane. If you trap Curry or Durant, it usually puts Green open on the weak side near the top of the key. Freeing him up to attack the paint. Depending on how the defense reacts he can either take the shot or dish a little lob pass over the top of the baseline defender coming from the strong side or kick it out to Klay Thompson on the wing for the three. We see it time and time again, they just Destroyed the Portland Trail Blazers with this game plan. The Rockets faired a little better because they put a focus on weak side defense and transitions. That said, it still wasn’t enough.
So if you trap or double-team any of the other stars like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, or Klay Thompson you leave a guy flying under the radar that is just as capable of making the best court decision in a favorable numerical situation. So how do you guard that? It’s nearly impossible.
If you don’t trap Curry, he is going to shake anyone but a couple of the most elite defenders in the league. The same can be said for Durant, or Thompson. And then the other fact is that any time you double any of these three, you leave a Curry or Durant or Thompson either singled or in an open zone. Now let’s circle back to Draymond. There is a good chance that if Curry is trapped and passes over to Durant, the defense is going to quickly try to transition to either move a second player into a defensive zone against Durant or double him as well. This often puts Green in a three on one position. So, he’s set up for success but at the same time, there is no other player in the league that would fill this role as well as Draymond does. On top of that, there is no other team in the league that could set a player like Draymond to succeed as much as he does. It’s like a perfect circle that spinning in a perfect self-sustaining balance. All of that talent is there, but it couldn’t be utilized as effectively without Green in the picture.
In short, Draymond Green is the catalyst that ignites all of the other components to fire off to create the nearly impenetrable resin that is the Golden State Warriors.