Golden State Warriors

Steve Kerr says Draymond Green is the ‘middle linebacker’ of Warriors’ defense

The dynasty in Golden State was built on a foundation of elite defense. Coach Steve Kerr has made it clear he wants his Warriors to become a top-10 defensive team once again, despite a bevy of new players on the roster.

But some players remain the same, most notably, superstar guard Stephen Curry. He’ll be the driving factor on offense, however. Forward Draymond Green, who was by Curry’s side for five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, is Warriors’ catalyst on defense. Kerr knows Golden State’s defensive prowess this season will rely on Green’s ability to be a vocal leader on and off the court, as he directs each member of the defense as only the voracious Green can.

“That’s going to be a huge part of his job this year,” Kerr said of Green, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s basically like a middle linebacker out there, calling out coverages and getting people in the right position.

“Because of James [Wiseman’s] youth, he’s going to have to learn from Draymond every single day. I’m really excited for Draymond to make his mark. He’s been our heart and soul for so long here, kind of our engine, and the guy who brings intensity and energy.”

James Wiseman is the Warriors’ first-round pick, selected at No. 2 overall. He appears to possess a variety of skills on both ends of the floor, but his first assignment will be to mesh with Green and other members of the front court to create a formidable defense. Green has a lot to work with, since Wiseman stands 7-foot, 1-inch tall with a 7-foot-6 wingspan.

Green’s famous “intensity and energy” that Kerr refers to compels Green to “get people in the right position” by any means, including getting in the face of superstar forward Kevin Durant when KD joined the Warriors after the the 2015-16 season. So all the new players on the Warriors’ roster, not just Wiseman, had better be ready for the manic intensity of Golden State’s “middle linebacker.”

It’s all in the name of reopening the Warriors’ championship window. Actually, since we’re talking about Draymond Green here: the idea is to smash that window to smithereens and step right back into NBA prominence.

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