NBA Finals Matchup: Kevin Love vs. Draymond Green
*Photo via ESPN
Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Postseason Stats: 17.3PPG, 9.6RPG, 2.4APG, 39% FG, 45% 3P, 0.4STL, 0.4BLK, 1.3TO
Kevin Love’s greatest strength as a basketball player is his versatility in scoring. This versatility opens the offense by forcing his defender to stay home and honest. His ability to post-up, score off the dribble, and stretch the floor with his three-point ability makes it difficult for your average power forward to guard him (unlucky for him, he won’t be matched up with your average power forward). Also, Love’s ability to rebound and start a fast break in a dime will be crucial in getting quick buckets for his teammates.
Kevin Love’s deficiencies mostly come on the defensive end of the ball. His offensive versatility does not transfer to the other side of the court and his inability to defend players both bigger and smaller than him makes him a potential liability. Also, much of Love’s offensive ability comes in isolation, luckily he has good teammates to set him up.
*Photo via USA Today
Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors
Postseason Stats: 15.1PPG, 9.8RPG, 5.9APG, 41% FG, 34% 3P, 1.6 STL, 2.1BLK, 2.6TO
Draymond Green is one of the league’s best all-around players, perhaps only second to LeBron James. Green is a threat from virtually every position on the floor offensively, yet his most value comes in his practice as point forward, leading the league’s highest powered offense in assists. Green will make his most important contributions on the defensive end of the floor. Finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, Draymond Green can guard any player on the court effectively, this allows the Warriors to switch and put pressure on the World’s Greatest Player in LeBron James.
Green’s aggressiveness and passion are driving factors behind the Warriors dominant play throughout the season and there come back play these playoffs. Yet, these attributes and intangibles can become a detriment if he lets them run loose. Another flagrant foul or two more technical fouls warrants a one-game suspension from the NBA. Needless to say, anymore high kicking can truly hurt the Warriors chances of a repeat.
The upper-hand clearly belongs to Draymond Green due to his ability to affect the game in a multitude of ways and his superior value to his team. Green will be capable of defending Kevin Love and possibly throwing him completely off his game. Not only that, Draymond Green can make Kevin Love pay with his aggressive savvy play on offense. If Draymond Green wins this matchup, Warriors are sure to win another Championship.