Spartans Beyond Campus: Draymond Green

2016 Stats: 10.5 points per game, 9.0 rebounds per game, 6.9 assists per game, .418 FG%

Two weeks ago, Golden State power forward Draymond Green came through for his team on multiple occasions despite having a relatively slow season. The Warriors won four games over the past seven days by a combined total of 72 points.

Green played for Michigan State from 2008-2012, and helped lead the Spartans to both a regular season Big 10 title, and a Big 10 tournament title his senior year. He was on the all-Big 10 team and was voted Big 10 player of the year heading into the postseason. He left Michigan State as the all time leading rebounder (1,096 career rebounds), and just one of three players in school history with over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

The Warriors were projected by most to win the West conference, including ESPN who predicted the Warriors would end the season 10 games ahead of their second place team. However, on the opening night Golden State fell at home to San Antonio by 29 points, surprising the league. The Warriors have since recovered with an overall record of 12-2, and Green has been a key in that success.

In the four games that Golden State had that week, Green had a total of 46 points and 29 assists, but played even better on defense. With eight blocks, nine steals and a total of 24 rebounds, Green is now making the case for a potential defensive player of the year award. To do so, Draymond would have to beat San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, who has won the past two years leaving Green runner up both seasons. Teammate Kevin Durant is fully behind Draymond.

“He’s covering a lot of ground for us,” Durant told ESPN. “Rebounding, blocking shots, he’s doing it all. My campaign starts now: Draymond for defensive player of the year.”

To state a few notable moments of the week, on Sunday the 13th, Draymond had a double-double against Phoenix, scoring 14 points complemented with 10 assists. The following Wednesday, the Warriors went on the road to Toronto to take on the Raptors. It happened to be the third annual “Drake Night” in the arena, inspired by the Canadian rapper who sat courtside to cheer on his home team, and taunted the Warriors throughout the night. Toronto lost for the first time ever on Drake Night 127-121, and Draymond had 11 points.

That Friday after Golden State remained on the road and cruised to an easy 14 point win against Boston, Green had another 11 points. The following day, the Warriors played at Milwaukee and with 10 seconds left, leading by two points with Milwaukee throwing it in. Draymond tipped the inbounds pass away from the Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and into the hands of teammate Klay Thompson, securing the win for his team.

“That’s what Draymond does,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told ESPN after the game. “He sees the game. He knows what’s coming.” Draymond is unbelievable in those situations.”

This past week, Draymond had another 27 total points in three games he played, but suffered an injury in his left ankle. He did not play Saturday against Minnesota, and is currently day-to-day.

Coming up for Golden State is four home games, followed by an important five game road trip, including a matchup against the second place Los Angeles Clippers.