Mike Brown explains where Draymond has edge over Kawhi defensively

Mike Brown explains where Draymond has edge over Kawhi defensively

As the man who isolates himself with Draymond Green during post-practice sessions, Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown has gotten to know Green and appreciate his defense.

As someone who spent most of last season working with and observing the Spurs, Brown also got an up-close and personal look at San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard, the reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

In short, Brown one of the few coaches to work closely with both defensive aces and, therefore, is in a unique position compare and contrast.

“The first thing is their versatility,” Brown said this week on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast. “Both guys have a lot of versatility on the defensive end of the floor.

“I don’t think Kawhi has the ability to guard positions 1 through 5 as good as Draymond. Draymond is better guarding the bigger, post players than Kawhi. But when you’re talking about defending positions 1 through 4, probably, they’re very similar. They’re both very strong. Both have long arms.”

Green and Leonard, Brown pointed out, are among the very few players capable and comfortable grabbing a rebound and immediately dribbling as the point man in transition.

“Where Draymond may have the edge is he can guard centers consistently, and for long minutes,” Brown said. “I’m not quite sure if Kawhi can do that on a night-in, night-out basis.”

The biggest difference, according to Brown, is Leonard spends more time as a one-on-one defender on guards and wings. He excels in taking away a single player.

Green excels at taking away spaces all over the floor.

“Kawhi can hone in, or lock in, on specific guys,” Brown said. “And what you’re getting from Draymond can change from possession to possession, not only what he’s going to bring to the table for you with your defense as a whole but in guarding different guys.

“Draymond doesn’t have to go into a game knowing he’s going to lock in on this specific guy. We can move him. Or he can even move himself from guy to guy to guy on different individual possessions.”

For the record, Brown, considered by most to be a defensive-minded coach, believes Green should be the Defensive Player of the Year.


Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.