Snub City - Population: Draymond Green


Source: hoopshabit.com
I was constantly reloading my Twitter feed this morning, knowing the all-NBA Teams lists would be coming out soon.

For the past month, I've heard so much talk about who should be on which team, who should be snubbed, all that jazz. There were a few players who were automatic locks for the First Team (Curry, Lebron, Kawhi) but the rest of the slots were up in the air. Should Russell Westbrook really make the cut? How about his buddy Kevin Durant? Which center is going to make it?

So many questions were being tweeted and discussed, but the only one I cared about was this one: where was Draymond Green going to end up?

A lot of different opinions were thrown around about Green this year. "Oh, he's just a hustle player" or "he's just lucky he's on the Warriors, anywhere else and he wouldn't have the same stats." I understand that some players try harder than others, like Green and Westbrook, or that they are a perfect fit for their team's system. But sometimes, that's the determining factor when it comes to voting for these things.

Players can have very similar stats so you have to look at what they do beyond the stat sheet.

The 2016 all-NBA First Team lineup is as follows: Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, and DeAndre Jordan. Now I don't have a problem with these players because they are the best at their positions. BUT...I do have a big problem with the way these teams are voted on.

The All-Star Game voting was recently changed to frontcourt and backcourt players, regardless of position, which is something that I think is a great idea because of the modern, smallball state of today's NBA. If these all-NBA teams were voted on like this, I think that Draymond Green would have and should have made First Team.

Green is basically a power forward/center, even though he is 6'7" 230 lbs. He may seem too small to be playing in the paint all the time, but his statistics say otherwise. 9.5 rebounds per game, 1.4 blocks per game, and he also ranked 6th in defensive win shares. Stats tell you a lot about a player and what he contributes to his team, but there are so many intangibles that are overlooked, like how he effects his team as a whole.

Stephen Curry is a back-to-back League MVP winner, and for good measure. He's continuing to blow every shooting record out of the water and he's also got one of the best handles and floaters in the game. He's always been a pretty quiet and humble guy off the court but he's a different animal when he steps onto the hardwood. I think Draymond Green has a lot to do with this.

I've listed Green's stats above but it is his intensity and effort that makes him such a special player, which has in turn made Curry into an even better player than if Green was not on the Warriors. Green isn't afraid to defend big guys like Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan down low and welcomes the challenge of defending players like Kyrie and CP3 on the perimeter. His fearless attitude has rubbed off on Stephen Curry, allowing the Chef's confidence to skyrocket to a level no one saw coming.

The NBA has changed a lot in the past decade and players who are more versatile are now incredibly valuable. DeAndre Jordan is a rebounding machine but he cannot space the floor the way Green can. I know Kevin Durant is one of the best players and scorers we have in this league but defense wins championships and Green's versatility on the defensive end is unmatched.

It is Draymond's utter obsession for the game of basketball coupled with his undersized stats that makes me think he is deserving of an all-NBA First Team nod. His statistics as a 6'7" PF/C tell us he can mess with the big boys inside and his ability to make his team better (73 wins!!!) and also make Steph better than his record setting year in 2015 equals, in my eyes, a place on the all-NBA First Team.

So sorry DeAndre Jordan, you had a great year but Draymond Green deserves your spot, even if it is for the center position. Hey Adam Silver, can you think about changing the voting rules? Thanks boss.

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