If you were to glance at the box scores from Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, you'd probably venture to guess that it hasn't exactly been the greatest Finals debut for Draymond Green to this point. Green is shooting just 6-20 from the field, and is yet to make his first NBA Finals three pointer, going 0-4 from the beyond the arc (he is 10-10 from the free throw line).
Without a doubt, it has been a struggle from the field for Draymond, in somewhat of a continuation from the last couple rounds in which he also struggled with his shot, namely from outside and the perimeter in general. For the entire postseason, Green is shooting just 25% from distance.
But, what makes Green so valuable (and what is going to make him a ton of cash this Summer) is his ability to have a profound impact on a basketball game without scoring at all.
Despite Sunday night's Game 2 loss at home to Cleveland, Draymond continued to do the things that have not only made him a fan favorite among those in the Bay Area and East Lansing, but also around the country (unless your team is facing the task of trying to deal with Draymond).
In Game 2, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr elected to put Draymond on Tristan Thompson for the majority of the time that both were on the floor together, and the results were very positive. Thompson was 0-5 from the field and had a quiet 15 rebounds, as Draymond was able to essentially cancel out a player who has been giving teams fits on the glass as a garbage man for the Cavs this entire postseason.
Guarding Thompson is a good matchup for Draymond, as he can simply sag way off when guarding Thompson off the ball (and on the ball as Thompson is completely uncomfortable anywhere outside of about 3 feet), and he also has the athleticism and strength to not let have Thompson have his way on the offensive and defensive glass.
Draymond wasn't without his struggles defensively in Game 2, as he had a tough time with Timofey Mozgov in spots during the 2nd quarter, but he was primarily forced onto Mozgov in help and recovery situations. Of course, it's also not very reasonable to ask a 6'7" power forward to guard a 7'1" skilled center, so faulting Draymond for giving up points in those situations to Mozgov wouldn't be very fair.
As always, Green was also asked to guard out on the perimeter at times, defending LeBron James, James Jones, Iman Shumpert, and JR Smith all at one point or another throughout Game 2. Jones, who it seems as if doesn't actually exist as an NBA player until June of each year, hit a couple of spot up three pointers in the face of late Green recoveries in the 2nd quarter. Other than that, Green held his own on the perimeter against smaller and quicker guards, per usual.
The Draymond-LeBron matchups (mostly in the 3rd quarter) were especially fun to watch, as apparently these two have a bit of a mini-rivalry going on. For more info on that, run a quick Twitter search on "Draymond LeBron". There's actually quite a bit to that whole thing, dating back to 2010 when Draymond was still a Spartan and had some not-so-nice things to say about a then-ringless LeBron on Twitter.
Even in the loss, it was certainly an eventful overtime period for Draymond in Game 2. He converted his first two field goals of the game in a 39 second period that brought the Warriors to within one with 2:00 to go, and had a block on LeBron James that would have likely been iconic and used in Finals promos for the next 50 years if the Warriors simply could've boxed out little Matthew Dellavedova later on in the offensive trip.
They did not, "Delly" sunk two free throws to give the Cavs the lead for good, and now things are tied at 1-1 headed back to Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night for Game 3. In a series that many considered "over" after it was announced that Kyrie Irving wouldn't be playing again in the series, it now looks like we could be headed for a classic NBA Finals.