Is Draymond Green really better than Al Horford ?
Many fans and media members believe that Draymond Green is a superior player to Al Horford. Is this true ?
Although Al Horford and Draymond Green may have entered the league in completely different situations, Horford being a celebrated prospect selected third-overall and Green a second-round draft pick, they share vastly similar roles on the Celtics and Warriors, respectively. The two big-men are tasked with being the defensive anchor on their squads, as well as chipping in on playmaking duties. Both Horford and Green are also utilized as floor-spacers on the offensive side of the ball.
Well, how did Horford and Green compare statistically for the 2017-2018 season ?
Traditional Statistics (per game if applicable)
As you can see, Horford possessed superior statistics across the board, edging Draymond in nearly every category. Horford surprisingly owned a good advantage in defensive analytics (such as defensive win shares, defensive box plus-minus and defensive rating), while Green held a slight lead in most reboounding, playmaking and shot-blocking stats.
So what makes their reputations so different ?
‘Average Al’, as some commentators like the call him, has been criticised for his merely average scoring and rebounding output in the regular season. What these people don’t understand is that his value goes way beyond scoring and rebounding - Horford is an elite passer, shooter and team defender for his position. Basically, the quiet-mannered Horford doesn’t possess a flashy game, causing many to knock him by claiming he hasn’t lived up to his hefty contract.
While Horford has been known to be a well-above average defender for over a decade, he earned his first spot on an All-Defense team just this past season at age 32. Pretty surprising.
Draymond, on the other hand, has won the prestigious NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and has been a two time runner-up. Additionally, Green has been blessed with playing under the league’s brightest lights for a dynastic Warriors team, allowing him to showcase his talents to casual fans.
While his peak performance level as a defender and rebounder may have been only a few years ago, Green just isn’t as effective anymore. To be real, Draymond’s history as the league's premier defender sways people’s opinion on the player he currently is; he’s undoubtedly still very good - just not great.
Is Draymond Green really the better player like most people think ?
The simple answer is no. Taking their statistics into account, at least from last season, Horford is the superior talent. Unless Draymond miraculously turns back the clock a few years, then it seems like this will remain the case. Could it happen ? Sure. But it looks like Horford’s game will age more gracefully than Draymond’s.
It is safe to say that ‘average Al’ deserves more respect as one of the NBA’s top big-men.
Published on 17 Aug 2018 at 10:51PM