When Draymond Green was asked about Andrew Wiggins guarding LeBron James in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Lakers, he had a lot to say about his teammate’s performance.
“He just not backing down from the challenge. We all know LeBron and his playmaking ability, the force that he gets downhill with. But Wiggs met that challenge,” Green said.
Green went on to explain the impact of Wiggins’ decision to pick up James full court, saying, “With him picking up LeBron like that we just know we have to build a wall behind him. Bron was able to get to the paint, I stepped up and forced to drop off and was able to get back to AD and get the dunk.
“When you get a guy like that putting his body on the line, giving all the energy and effort that it takes. When you’re guarding LeBron, he’s bumping you, he’s not just like most guards or just try to dribble and get around, he’s hitting you with body. That takes a lot of energy. So when you got a guy like that that’s expending that amount of energy, as a teammate you have to be ready to go behind him.”
Green praised Wiggins for his defensive efforts, saying, “You can’t allow him to spend that energy and then just give up something easy behind the play. So for us, we were ready once he started picking up, we built the wall and then we just played and were able to make some plays.”
Wiggins’ performance in Game 5 was pivotal in the Warriors’ victory, as he scored 25 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. His defensive effort against James was a key factor in limiting the Lakers’ offensive production, and Green’s praise of his teammate’s performance highlights the importance of team play in the playoffs.