OAKLAND — If there were such an award as Most Valuable Player in a conference semifinals series, Draymond Green would have earned another trophy.
Instead, he’ll have to settle for the Warriors winning the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals in five games. The victory over New Orleans was largely a product of his effective presence at both ends.
“Draymond was amazing the whole series,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday night, after a 113-104 win in Game 5 ended the series. “Obviously he’s such a valuable player for us, and you know, a guy who fits the modern NBA so well. You’ve got to be able to guard everybody on the floor, and Draymond does that.”
Well, yes, he did. He also made some history.
Green became the first member of the Warriors to average a triple-double in a postseason series. His averages over five games: 14.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists.
“Add that to the jacket,” said Green, who thrives on meeting challenges.
Green came within one assist of getting a triple-double in Game 5, finishing with 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. He was plus-12 over 41 minutes.
Series highs for the sixth-year power forward were 20 points in Game 2, 15 rebounds in Game 1 and 12 assists in Game 3.
“Nothing surprises me,” Curry said, “But I’m always just kind of impressed and you don’t want to take a talent like that for granted what he brings every single night . . .
“It’s fun to watch, the intensity he plays with and timely plays on both ends of the floor, it’s what a ‘gamer’ does and that’s what he’s been his whole career. Earlier in his career, never, rarely showed up in the stats sheet like his stuff is there right now but right now, yeah, it’s — right now, it’s the whole package and it’s amazing.”
Green also made an impact with his emphatic request to play more at center, which meant he’d be primarily responsible for defending Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis.
Moreover, it allowed Kerr to unveil the “Hamptons 5” as a starting lineup for the first time, with Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson joining Green and Curry.
The Warriors used that lineup in Games 4 and 5. They trailed for all of about two minutes over the course of those two games.