Draymond Green.

What Draymond Green did in Game 1 was incredible - he'll be more important in Game 2

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Football News

A quick look at Draymond Green's stats from Game 1 of the NBA Finals reveals that the star Golden State Warriors forward only scored nine points, and dished out two assists (to go with 11 rebounds) in his team's 113-91 victory.

Based on those numbers, one might think Green hurt his team when he was on the floor, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Though he only made one of his five three-point attempts, Green's contributions came from other aspects of his game - most notably on the defensive end of the floor.

If the Warriors are going to win Game 2 on Sunday night, they'll need another all-around effort from their vocal leader (and maybe some more help from him on the offensive end of the court, as well).

Here's a look at how the outspoken Golden State star can help his team continue its impressive 13-0 postseason run.

2016 NBA Finals - Game Four

Keep Tristan Thompson out of rhythm

In 22 minutes of court time during Game 1, Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson failed to score a single point, going 0-for-3 from the floor.

More importantly, though, he only grabbed four total rebounds -- three on offense and one on defense.

Green didn't necessarily guard Thompson all that much, as his expertise was required more often on LeBron James and Kevin Love, but what Green did was keep Thompson from crashing the offensive glass as much as he's used to doing.

Green finished the game with 11 total rebounds - 10 of which came on the defensive glass. By not allowing Thompson to create as many second-chance scoring opportunities for the Cavaliers, the Warriors were able to cruise to the comfortable victory.

2017 NBA Finals - Game One

Remain calm

Green picked up four personal fouls on Thursday night, but he managed to avoid any serious outbursts and didn't pick up a technical.

Coming off of last year's NBA Finals, where Green was suspended for Game 5 as the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead, keeping Green eligible for every game is going to be important to Golden State's success.

Obviously, everything with Green can turn with one bad call, but getting through Game 2 on Sunday night without any major incidents will be a good sign.

Green has said in recent days that he blames himself for the Warriors' loss in last year's Finals, so it does appear as if he's being extra cautious to make sure it doesn't happen again.

2017 NBA Finals - Game One

Defense, Defense, Defense

What makes Green so valuable to the Warriors is that he can literally defend anyone the Cavs put on the court during this series.

Though no one can fully contain LeBron James, Green and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs are two of the best at slowing him down.

Whether Green is LeBron's primary defender or whether he switches around between Thompson, James and Kevin Love, having him at the top of his game at that end of the floor is one of the biggest keys to Golden State's continued success.

Yes, LeBron finished with a 28/15/8 line in Game 1 and Love grabbed a whopping 21 rebounds, but Green made some big plays at the right times to limit Cleveland's effectiveness on Thursday night. He'll need to do it again on Sunday night.

Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference

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