by Alex Poletti
Warriors forward Draymond Green proved again on Tuesday why he is a first ballot Hall of Famer after putting up a mind-blowing 15 points against the Houston Rockets in game two of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Always a bridesmaid and never a bride with the All-Star-packed Golden State team, Draymond finally had his chance to shine, scoring the fifth most points on his team behind Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala.
“Draymond really came out to play tonight, we have to respect his game,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says. “He was on another level.”
With 15 gobsmackin’ points, Draymond bested his season average of 7.4 points-per-game. He padded his Hall of Fame resume with 12 rebounds, finishing with a postseason double-double.
“We have to be scared, honestly,” Rockets guard Chris Paul says. “I mean, how many players can you name that have the capacity to score 15 in a game? It’s gotten us worried, for sure.”
Will this impressive showing be enough to sway MVP voters from Milwaukee phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo? It’s hard to say. But when they consider that the Michigan State alumnus did all this while only drawing his fourth technical of the playoffs, they may change their tune.
“The points-to-technical ratio is really what makes this game so special,” Steph Curry says of his longtime teammate. “He’s usually on his sixth or seventh by the time he scores this many points. So that just shows you how good he’s getting.”
Draymond has always been known for his defensive prowess, collecting the 2016-2017 Defensive Player of the Year award and four All-Defensive team honors in his career, but has never been particularly gifted on the offensive side of the ball. Now, it seems that Green is an unstoppable tour-de-force near the rim.
NBA officials resisted the urge to hold an immediate Hall of Fame induction ceremony after the game, though it was tempting.
“Obviously, Draymond deserves to be there, and it should be as soon as possible,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver says. “Not just because of the player he is on the field, but who he is off.”
Certainly, no one can question the fantastic rapport Green has built over the years with teammates and rivals. With a reputation for being one of the fairest, kindest offensive powerhouses in the game, it’s hard not to reward the three-time all-NBA star.
“He also poked James Harden in the eye,” Silver continues. “That’s Hall of Fame-worthy by itself.