What Warriors fans can expect from Draymond in 2022-23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Draymond Green's 2021-22 NBA season came down to two categories: Pre-injury and post-injury. He showed his importance with how much better the Warriors were with him put together and on the floor, as well as him stepping up for Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
Making the All-Star Game for a fourth time was extremely important to Green. After a disappointing 2019-20 season where the Warriors won a league-low 15 games, he was headstrong to get back on track in 2020-21 and then show he's still an elite player this past season. He did just that.
Green missed over two months to a back injury. He wasn't the same player when he returned. His Hall of Fame basketball mind still was there, but his body wasn't catching up. In the playoffs, the highs outweighed the lows, though there were some concerns with consistency and being able to show up at the highest level against the best teams on a game-by-game basis.
With Warriors training camp beginning on Sept. 24, what version of Green -- who turns 33 in March -- will Golden State get for the 2022-23 season? Let's take a look.
The eye test and the numbers were on the same page watching a healthy Green last season. Through the Warriors' first 37 games, they were 28-9. Green appeared in 33 of those games and averaged 8.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. There was no better or more impactful defender in the game.
He didn't just look like an All-Star again, he looked like the Defensive Player of the Year again. Then came the injury.
In the 12 regular-season games (10 starts) that Green played after recovering from his injury, he averaged 6.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. His plus-minus was an average of minus-0.4. Before the injury, his plus-minus was an average of plus-5.9.
The Warriors had a defensive rating of 104.2 with Green on the court last season. But without him, that number ballooned to 112.0. His 103 defensive rating per 100 possessions was his best since winning the DPOY in 2016-17, and Green's 4.6 defensive box plus-minus was a career-high.
Once the playoffs began, Green hit the ground running with 12 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Denver Nuggets. Green averaged 8.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He also fouled out of five games, turned the ball over at least four times in eight games and had to be benched during a crucial part of Game 4 of the Finals.
Guessing Green's stat line is never easy for what a unique player he is. His 28.9 minutes per game were down from 31.5 the previous season, and it could be closer to what he plays on a nightly basis. Since taking over in the starting lineup, Green has averaged 31.8 minutes per game the last eight seasons. He shouldn't be pushing past 30 too often.
Steve Kerr and the Warriors know when they need their defensive star and point-forward the most -- the playoffs. The Warriors' core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Green are all going to have to start taking a step back in playing time to preserve themselves, but when it's go-time for Green, he'll be out to prove himself.
There's no doubt he believes he should have received more love for the All-Defensive Team and DPOY voting for how he produced when he wasn't shelved. Green also has a $27.6 million player option after this season, and is out to show everyone exactly how much he deserves. That's a good thing for Golden State.
They'll take a determined Draymond every day of the week. He'll be full throttle this season, though the Warriors might have to remind him the importance of pulling back the reins and staying in the stable here and there.