Prove Yourself Man: Green Most Improved
It’s hard to believe that someone who is averaging a modest 11.5 PPG is the NBA’s leading candidate for Most Improved Player of The Year. But for someone who has nearly doubled his figures in points, assists, and 3-pointers made, it would be a shame for 4-year grad out of Michigan State- Draymond Green to not be considered. Oh, did I mention Green’s posting career highs in rebounds, FG%, and steals too? Aside from his upgraded stats (thank you David Lee’s hamstring), Green’s performance away from the stat sheet is what makes him a plausible candidate for this under appreciated award.
Whether its KD & King James, or The Big Fundamental & Z-Bo—Green’s ability to guard star players positions 3-5 is a testament to his talent and mostly his versatility. Coming into the NBA, Green always had a chip on his shoulder with a lot to prove. With the Mark Jackson-led Warriors drafting him in the 2nd round with the 35th pick, it only added fuel to the already ignited fire for the kid out of Saginaw, Michigan. The 24 year old’s big break came in the playoffs (thank you David Lee’s hip flexor) in which he averaged almost 12 PPG along with 8.3 RPG (almost double what his season averages were that year) in a tough 7-game series against the rival Clippers.
New head coach Steve Kerr mentioning he’d like to acquire a stretch 4 only provided more motivation for Green to prove himself again coming into the season. In an interview with SLAM Mag’s Branden J. Peters, Draymond mentions, “It was just another one of those moments where it was like, Aight, I gotta prove myself again. I’m used to it at this point. That’s gonna be me. I’m gonna have to prove myself over and over again.” 40 games later, the Warriors are 34-6, holding the best record in the league with Draymond Green playing an integral role in achieving this feat.
Don’t be surprised this summer if you see cheesy “Draymond ‘Getting To The’ Green” headlines, as the former Spartan is currently playing in his contract year. It will be a tough decision for Golden State, but with the way he’s been shooting lately I wouldn’t be surprised if Steph and Klay adopt him into the coveted “Splash Bros” family. If not, I’m sure another organization will be more than glad to acquire him and his talents. For now, it’s a steady uphill battle for Green to prove himself to the world and why he deserves the big checks. Green for 2014-2015 Most Improved Player of The Year.