A quick look at the box score will reveal that the Splash Brothers came alive in the Warriors' Game 4 win over the Cavaliers. Stephen Curry had 35 points, while Klay Thompson scored 25 on just 14 shots. After really struggling in the first three matchups, Golden State's elite backcourt showed up to play on Friday and led the way on offense, as it's expected to do. Yet as well as Curry and Thompson played, the real MVP of the night -- and the NBA Finals to date -- was Draymond Green. Green's numbers in Game 4 (nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists) aren't particularly impressive but, as the old saying goes, he did all the little things that allowed the Warriors to outplay the Cavaliers. Green's play in the first half, just as Golden State's as a team, was not bad, but not particularly sharp. He defended well, drew fouls and pulled down eight rebounds, but Cleveland feasted on the offensive boards when Steve Kerr deployed small lineups that featured him at center. That's been a problem all postseason long -- a signature of that unit is switching every screen, which at times moves Green away from the paint and allows the opponent's center to grab misses. Things got bad enough that Kerr gave minutes to James Michael McAdoo and Festus Ezeli in an attempt to have at least one big man under the rim. Those lineups with Green at power forward did better on the glass, but prevented the Warriors from deploying their best units. Late in the third quarter and throughout the fourth, Golden State got lucky. The Cavaliers made the now-familiar mistake of not having their center screen as often as they should, opting instead to settle for perceived mismatches in the perimeter. That still left Green with the unenviable task of keeping Tristan Thompson, one of the best offensive rebounders in the league, off the glass. He worked his butt off and did the job.
Draymond Green doesn't have to score to be the Warriors' NBA Finals MVP
SB Nation | Jun 11