This is probably overkill, since I devoted a lot of last night’s recap to Draymond Green already. But after waking up this morning, I got this feeling that was difficult to shake. What we saw from Green against the Hawks, even during a year so great that he’ll probably finish in the top-10 in MVP balloting (if not top-5), was above and beyond his normal excellent production.
1. He didn’t need the triple-double to achieve something that hasn’t been done in 20 years.
Draymond Green last night: 15 pts, 13 rebs, 9 ast, 5 stl and 2 threes. Last time someone matched that line: ’95 Jason Kidd, per @bball_ref.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) March 2, 2016
Yep, that’s a point guard line from an undersized power forward who dabbles in the center arts.
2. I briefly described it last night, but this is a play you have to see to truly appreciate.
Draymond Green just pulled off the most absurd steal/save of the NBA season, just watch the replays pic.twitter.com/lysxiDJtJh
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) March 2, 2016
His save was amazing, sure. But look at this backhanded steal from Tim Hardaway Jr.
How does an NBA player do this to another NBA player, on the run, from this angle?
3. More proof that Green has some of the best hands in the league.
PLAY. OF. THE. NIGHT. @Money23Green just #CLUTCH!!!https://t.co/dVblSn62vg
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) March 2, 2016
Andrew Bogut did a nice job keeping the play alive, but check out where the ball was with 1.4 seconds left on the shot clock.
Kent Bazemore, another player with ridiculously long arms, dove in front of Green and came within inches of knocking the ball away. As Bazemore slid past, Green brought the ball up to his shoulders with 1.1 seconds remaining. While moving to his right, Green squared up and released the shot well before the buzzer sounded, relatively speaking (0.5 seconds).
4. Green played over 42 minutes and somehow avoided getting called for a technical foul, despite jawing with officials throughout the game. Green already has 13 technical fouls on the season, which means he’s paid $37,000 in fines and faces a one-game suspension if he commits three more this season.
5. Green helped lead the Warriors to an overtime victory without Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala just one day after apologizing to his teammates and thoroughly describing the depth of his contrition to the media.
“I admit my mistakes. I made a mistake. I admitted my mistakes to my teammates and my coaching staff. I apologize to my teammates, my coaching staff, this organization. That wasn’t the right way to handle what needed to be handled. As a leader of this team I can’t do that because it sets a bad precedent for how everything is ran around here, how everything should be ran, how everything has been ran, and how everything will be ran going forward. It won’t happen again. It’s, you know, something where my emotions kind of got ahead of me and I let my emotions get the best of me. However, I will never quit on my teammates, as some have reported. I would never quit on my coaching staff, I would never quit on this organization. This organization has given me everything that I can ask for. So I have supported and represented this organization to the best of my ability. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve been, and that’s not who I will become. Sometimes, emotion, that’s human. I’m not perfect, nobody on this Earth is perfect. If we were, there’s no reason for us being here. As a human being I made a mistake and, like I said before, I apologize to my teammates, to everybody who I need to apologize to. It won’t happen again.”
It’s silly to mine controversy from a halftime argument among members of a team with a winning percentage over .900, but this had the potential to branch off into something darker. However, instead of wallowing in pride and anger, Green squashed this story during the team’s first practice after returning to Oakland. Then he played a game for the ages with two of the most difficult plays — one on each end of the floor, which encapsulates his game quite well — we’ll see from a non-Curry this season.