Draymond Green wants to win Defensive Player of the Year, says he’s been ‘incredible’

Cary Edmondson/Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

For two straight seasons, Draymond Green has finished as the runner-up in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. Per a conversation with The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, Green elaborated on his displeasure with not being appropriately recognized for his achievements and expressed his adamant desire to win the award this season:

“That's definitely something that I want to win, extremely serious about trying to win that award … 

“When you look at our defense, that's where we get hit at the most is in transition. When we get our set defense we're pretty good. So I look at the numbers and I think about those things, and then I also think about how this is a completely different type of defense — it'll take a little time for all that to come together. …

“I think I've been incredible defensively this year. It's one of the things that I really locked in on; I focused in on. I'm so locked in on that end of the basketball (court) right now. It's fun. And I think part of the reason I'm so locked in on it is because of everybody talking about what we can't do on that end and how we'll struggle on that end — just all the doubt on that end from everyone — it just has me at another place mentally.”

Currently, Green averages 2.2 steals and 1.7 blocks — but more important, he owns a team-best 102 defensive rating (points surrendered per 100 possessions while that specific player is on the floor). Simply put: No matter how many points the Golden State Warriors score, the best team in the NBA is not the best team in the NBA without Draymond Green's defense.

Does this make Green worthy to overthrow the incumbent, consensus best basketball defender on Earth (Kawhi Leonard)? Only time will tell …