Draymond Green has been publicly campaigning for the 2016-’17 Defensive Player of the Year award and is backing it up with his play. Last night against the Hawks, Green made two big defensive plays down the stretch to help seal a 105-100 win over the Hawks to improve Golden State’s record to 16-2. After the game, Dray sounded off on everyone who thought the Warriors defense would be signifcantly worse after the team let go of Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli.

More from ESPN:

“People have kind of counted our defense out, with Bogut leaving,” Green said. “And that kind of pisses me off. It’s not necessarily about that award. Awards, they are what they are. I’ve never been a guy that prides myself on those but it’d be cool to win absolutely, but like, my goal coming into this season is to win a championship. In order for us to win a championship we’ve got to defend. Well, the world says we traded our defense away when we got KD. I disagree. So, I think our defense actually has the upside to be better.”

At 6-7, Green ranks eighth in the League with 30 blocks. The Warriors are giving up 104.9 points per game, which ranks 18th in the NBA, but are averaging 117.6 points. The 12.7 point differential ranks as tops in the NBA.

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