Draymond Green experienced firsthand how good this year’s Los Angeles Lakers are.
Obviously his online exchanges with Dennis Schroder after their semifinals series stole some of the headlines, but Green clearly emerged from the second-round with a healthy respect for that whole squad.
And as someone with four NBA championships, Green is well-equipped to understand what traits teams need in order to be legitimate title contenders.
During a recent episode of his podcast, Green offered his prediction on how this year’s NBA Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Denver Nuggets would ultimately turn out.
“I got the Lakers closing out at home in 6”
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) May 14, 2023
“The [Anthony Davis]-[Nikola Jokic] matchup will be key,” he said.
“I think Joker being able to pull AD away from the rim is going to be a real thing. The great thing about Joker though, is that you can move him all over the court.
“You can move him to the high post, you can move him to the block, you can move him to the elbow, you can move him to the middle of the paint, the free throw line area. You can move him around and that, I think, will create some issues for the Lakers’ defense, especially with how they want to play with AD.”
As far as Green is concerned, a lot of this series will come down to how L.A. ultimately resolves those defensive issues.
“It is going to be on the Lakers to, either stop Joker from passing or stop him from scoring,” Green added.
“The easier one to do is stop him from getting assists. You can’t allow him to get both. He gets both, you lose. It’s very simple.”
That said, despite all the effusive praise he offered Denver, Green still doesn’t believe they can beat the Lakers.
The Cincinnati Bengals continue to impress. https://t.co/e2YoGi0TVW
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 16, 2023
“It’ll be a good series,” Green continued.
“Ultimately, Denver is ready, man. I think Denver is ready, like Denver is taking that next step, they’re doing it, we’re watching it … but I think we’re going to have a rerun of 2020. And I think the Lakers will take it. I got the Lakers and I got the Lakers in 6. Closing out at home in six.”
Will Green’s prediction ultimately come to fruition? One way or another, an answer will reveal itself over the next couple of weeks.