No player in the last 33 years has posted an ultra-rare 5x5 game (at least five points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks) and a triple-double in any game in either the regular or postseason.
The man who has come closest is Draymond Green — he was one point away in February (who would think that the hardest stat to get in a 5X5 triple-double would be a fifth point?) and he nearly did it again Sunday afternoon in Oakland, in Game 1 of the Warriors' Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Blazers.
Green was two steals and one assist away from the vaunted 5x5 triple-double Sunday, scoring 19 points, pulling down 12 rebounds, and blocking five shots — three coming in spectacular fashion.
In the year of the triple-double — a campaign where star players' numbers seemed juiced — and on a team where there is absolutely no shortage of offensive starpower, it was Green — the Warriors' linchpin — who was the best player on the court for Golden State in their opening game of the postseason.
Let it serve as a reminder.
Green won't come anywhere close to averaging numbers like Sunday's — that was a special game — but the impact he had on the contest, both on the offensive and particularly on the defensive end, was a perfect example of just how good he — and, in turn, the Warriors — can be.
If you were somehow questioning if the 67-win Warriors were favorites to win the title — and the early goings of Sunday might have given you pause — Game 1, and Green's leading performance served as a reminder that there's not anyone close to their class right now.
The Warriors took Portland's best shot in Game 1
The Blazers and Warriors have a penchant for playing fun, up-and-down, competitive games. When you get two backcourts that explosive, great back-and-forth games are bound to happen.
And that's what we had for the first three quarters of Sunday's Game 1.
C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard — the Blazers' dynamic backcourt duo — were spectacular.
It was exactly what the Blazers needed to keep up with, or perhaps even beat, the Warriors.
McCollum had 27 points at halftime and 34 heading into the fourth Sunday. Lillard had 21 at halftime and scored seven more points in the third.
Heading into the fourth quarter of a game tied at 88, the Blazers' two stars had 62 of Portland's points. It was all going Portland's way.
The Warriors clamped down in the fourth quarter
While Portland was able to keep up with Golden State for three quarters, the fourth quarter belonged to the Warriors.
And specifically, it was Green's.
Green was a plus-16 in a quarter that the Warriors won by 12 — scoring 10 points, blocking three shots (including a spectacular rejection of Lillard), and pulling down three rebounds. And that doesn't even tell the full story. What didn't show up in the box score was his near-impeccable help-side defensive help, which was critical to Golden State holding the Blazers to 29 percent shooting in the final frame.
Green is going to either win or finish second in Defensive Player of the Year voting this season — the award will surely come down to him or Utah center and rim protector extraordinaire Rudy Gobert.
The voting for the award is over, but had ballots been due after Sunday's game, Green would have won in a landslide. The advanced metrics show that Green, at 6-foot-6, has nearly identical rim-protection stats to Gobert, 7-foot-1.
Often, the advanced stats don't jibe with the eye. Sunday, it seemed as if the incredible numbers didn't fully encapsulate Green's defensive impact. (Not only did he block five shots, he often guarded both Lillard and McCollum with clear success — can Gobert do that?)
In all, the Warriors needed every bit of Green's contributions Sunday.
The Warriors didn't have their offensive A-Game
Until Sunday, the Warriors had not played with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Green, and Curry together since Durant sprained the MCL in his left knee on Feb. 28.
Sunday, it showed.
The Warriors' offense was often too cute in Game 1 — looking to force an extra pass, typically through traffic in the lane, instead of spacing the floor and attacking with backdoor cuts, pick-and-rolls, and defense-tugging dribble-drive penetration.
As the game progressed, the understanding between the four players started to re-emerge — particularly in the fourth quarter — but there's still a ways to go before the Warriors' offense is at its full supervillain best. Fourteen turnovers through three quarters is too many.
Still, Stephen Curry scored 29 points on 19 shots, despite shooting less than 50 percent from the floor and 3-for-8 from behind the arc.
Durant — well, Durant was his typical preposterous self, scoring 31 points on 60 percent shooting. It's really, really hard to slow him down.
We know what Green did, as well.
But Klay Thompson's shot was off all game — he shot 16 percent from beyond the arc, despite plenty of open shots. McCollumn deserves plenty of credit for Thompson's poor shooting day, but how often will that happen for the rest of the series? What about the rest of the playoffs?
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
This year's NBA playoffs could well be defined by parity. The Eastern Conference is as close to a toss-up as it's been since LeBron's first stint in Cleveland. The other Western Conference first-round series look like they can go six games or more (so long as the Grizzlies get it together).
But the Warriors took one of the best teams in the NBA down the stretch's best shot, floundered a bit, and still punched back in emphatic fashion.
And a huge reason why they were able to do that was Green's tremendous and (somehow) often overlooked influence on both ends on the court.
If it's not Durant, it's Curry, and if it's not Curry, it's Thompson, and if it's not Thompson, it's Green -- and more often than not, it's all four coming at you at full speed.