San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard is the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is arguably the best defender in the NBA but don't tell that to Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown who says Draymond Green has the edge over Kawhi on the defensive end.
The former Spurs assistant coach, says Green's ability to defend all positions on the floor gives him the edge over Leonard.
“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."
“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.”
Brown did says Kawhi is a great defender at taking out a specific player but repeats Draymond can simply do more.
“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.”
Look, Brown is obviously going to say that about his player. He isn't going to proclaim Kawhi the better defender and slight Green.
Clearly, Brown is lobbying hard for Draymond to take the Defensive Player of the Year award from Kawhi and most likely, he will be given the award at the end of the season. There's no doubting Green is one of the best defenders in the league but Leonard can do plenty on both ends of the court that Green cannot.
Locking down the best player on an opposing team is no small task. Can Green come close to doing what Kawhi can do to LeBron James for close to an entire game for example?
One can start to dig into defensive stats between Leonard and Green to find numeric differences but in the end, the two are arguably the best defenders in the league. Though I am sure if Brown was still in San Antonio he might be singing a different tune about Kawhi right now.
What say you Spurs fans? Let me know on Twitter at @JeffGSpursZone.