Draymond Green Argues Defense Doesn’t Go Viral Because ‘People Don’t Know What They’re Looking At’

Draymond Green is one of the NBA’s all-time great defenders. He’s made six All-Defensive Team appearances, won a Defensive Player of the Year award and finished among the top three on three other occasions. Through a quarter of the 2021-22 season, he appears on his way to adding to those accomplishments, helping anchor the Golden State Warriors’ top-ranked defense and potentially earning his fourth All-Star berth.

At times, his contributions go understated, in part because much of his greatness rests on what he does on the defensive end in holding things together for the Warriors, and he’s not a gaudy scorer. As Green sees it, “defense never goes viral because half the people don’t know what the hell they’re looking at.”

According to him, offensive exploits are easier to recognize, but analyzing defenses necessitates a specific understanding of what’s happening on the floor, which can be harder for viewers to accomplish.

“On the defensive end, it’s a little different,” Green said. “You have to actually know what you’re looking at in order to dissect it and pull it apart, and most people don’t.”

There is a point to Green’s statement, albeit one he makes a bit bluntly, as so much of what he does on the defensive end is about preventing action through movement and cutting things off before they begin, rather than the massive blocks or steals that stick out most. Those things are certainly harder to recognize at times, and it’s not surprising Green gets a bit frustrated when his efforts there get overlooked.

Green and the 18-2 Warriors will have another chance to author defensive plays that will, in his eyes, fly over most people’s heads when they face the 17-3 Phoenix Suns on Tuesday evening.