He didn’t win NBA Defensive Player of the Year, but Warriors forward Draymond Green earned and received recognition for his other-worldly defense this season. On Monday, the NBA announced Green was named to its All-Defensive 1st Team.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert earned Defensive player of the year honors last week, and here are the rest of the players that comprised the first and second All-Defensive Teams.
Joining Green on the 2021 first team were Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle, and the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard were named All-Defensive Second Team.Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle
You’ll notice a few sets of teammates on that list, highlighted by the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday on the first team. But Green is the only Golden State player. There were hopes amongst Bay Area sports observers that Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins could earn a nod on the team, but he fell way short. Wiggins did receive one vote, however.
Here are all of the players receiving votes, thank to Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck.
But back to Green. This is his fourth appearance on the All-Defensive 1st Team and his sixth nod for either first or second team. His impact was clear this season, with the Warriors floundering on defense early in the campaign as Green struggled with injury. When he returned, Green helped mold the squad into a top-5 defense.
Green’s defense pairs nicely with superstar Stephen Curry’s offense, and next season, guard Klay Thompson — who excels on both sides of the court — figures to return. As long as Green can keep playing his brand of defense and he has Curry and Thompson by his side, the Warriors are a championship contender. Their championship window is closing and time is off the essence, but for now, Green can sit back an enjoy this well-earned recognition.