Do you want to become a phenomenal defender like Draymond Green? Here are some tips to help you with your journey.
On Feb. 10, 2017, the Golden State Warriors Draymond Green did something rare and spectacular -he got a triple-double.
Now, you’re probably thinking that as great as a trip-dub is, it’s not that amazing. Many players have gotten it before.
As a matter of fact, Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double more than once.
And you would be absolutely correct. But here’s the thing -Draymond’s was special because his stat line didn’t involve points.
Yes, you read that correctly. He triple-doubled with assists, steals, and rebounds (10 assists, 12 rebounds, and 10 steals).
He was actually 6 points away from getting a quadruple-double. Additionally, he blocked 5 shots this outing as well.
Draymond was in the zone this game. He was dialled in. He was reading pass perceptions and opponent’s movements, and he was hustling for rebounds.
But it wasn’t just in this game that Dray’s decision-making, especially on the defensive end, was on point.
He is always making good plays defensively.
This is how he became the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year and how he made it onto the All-Defensive Teams multiple times (4-times First-Team and 2-times Second-Team, thus far).
So, how is he such a phenomenal defender?
How Draymond Green is a Great Defender
Well, according to San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich, Green just has a natural desire and affinity to be great at defense.
Speaking to the media after a Team USA practise in 2021, he said:
“When you say what’s a natural affinity? Understanding spatial arrangements, being able to do work early, understanding angles and distances, having the desire to want to stop an opponent, but at the same time understand how that’s done with wisdom,” Popovich said. “It’s not with reaching or blazing speed, it’s about position and some people understand their body position better than others.”
Here's a Gregg Popovich soundbite discussing Draymond Green's defense pic.twitter.com/3M8dXCqqxr
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 9, 2021
So, he focuses on it and he practices it.
And that’s how he was able to develop a high defensive I.Q., which has led him to become one of the legendary defenders in NBA history.
But he wouldn’t have been able to receive any accolades if he didn’t have his defensive fundamentals down because he wouldn’t be able to defend the way that he that does.
Thus, if you want to become a great defender like Draymond, you have to know (and master) the foundations first.
How to Master the Fundamentals of Defence
This will be the only way that you can increase your knowledge and improve your decision-making skills.
It’s the only way for you to learn how to stop your opponent without being super athletic and without fouling them.
To master the defensive fundamentals, you have to learn:
- The correct defensive stance for maximum lockdown effectiveness
- Where and how to look when defending so that you don’t lose your opponent or the ball
- How to move on defence so that you don’t get beat off the dribble
- How to defend with your teammates because basketball is a team sport
You can click here to read this article, which talks more about these skills in detail and how to practice them.
Additionally, the previous article doesn’t talk about how to defend in the low post.
That’s why I recommend you also read this article, which talks about how to guard bigger players when they try to post you up.
Defence is one of the most important things in basketball.
So, if you want to become a better defender, you have to follow in the footsteps of Draymond: master the fundamentals, then up your defensive knowledge, and then apply it to games by making good decisions on defense.