Draymond Green reveals top secrets on how to defend LeBron, Westbrook and Harden

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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green is one of the most complete basketball players in the NBA and he got his start on the defensive end. Green is an emotional guy, always barking out orders and getting his teammates fired up and that is the first sign of a guy who competes on defense, making sure that everyone else it too. Green is leading the NBA in steals per game, averaging 2.2, and he gets 1.5 blocks a game.

Green’s size plus the way the game is played today means he can guard one through five. Green can do it all for a team on defense and he is the reason that the Warriors defense is doing well.

He started from the bottom (34th pick) and now he is one of the most valuable players in the NBA.

Check what he said about guarding LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Defending LeBron James

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"With LeBron, obviously it's different because he does so much. It's about mixing it up. You can't always pick LeBron up and pressure him, but you can't always sit back. You've got to do both.

"So with him, as a defender, one possession you're playing him one way, the next possession you're playing him a completely different way, and you just try to keep him off-balance as much as you can. Give him a steady diet of one thing, he'll pick that (expletive) apart. He's one of the smartest players to ever play the game."

Defending James Harden

Getty Images

Getty Images

"No. 1, take his space away. There are certain guys in the league that get their rhythm off their dribble. He's one of those guys. The more you just let him dribble, dribble, dribble, the more into his rhythm he gets. The more rhythm he gets…look, the chances of you stopping a player like that is already slim.

"Once you let him dance, dance, dance and get that rhythm, that slim chance is cut in half. At that point it's just a matter of whether he misses the shot or not. So crowd his space, but don't use your hands. That's why I have my hands way out [to my side] because he's tricky.

"If you put your hand in there just a little bit, James has got you. One, he's mastered getting the foul, and two, he gets the benefit of the doubt, so if it looks like it's a foul, it's going to be a foul. It's just like anything else in this league: When you develop a certain reputation for something, you're going to get the benefit of the doubt, good or bad."

Defending Russell Westbrook

Nov 29, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) handles the ball against Golden State Warriors small forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

"I see Russ a lot. The way I like to defend Russell is sometimes I like to sit back and make him shoot jump shots and sometimes activate and force him to go to the rim.

"As crazy as that sounds — most people would say, 'Why would you send Russell to the rim, that's what he wants to do?' [And it's true] the best thing about Russell's game is not his jump shot. If you're going to pick any shot for Russell Westbrook to take, it's his jump shot.

"That being said, when you think that way, the tendency is to sit back. But when you sit back, you allow him to get comfortable and then he just picks you apart. I'm a firm believer you definitely mix that in and use sitting back to your advantage, but you've got to activate and pressure sometimes to keep [him] off balance and not let him get in his comfort zone.

"He has a hop into that pull-up jump shot; he takes these tiny steps and then a hop. You can definitely read it a little bit. That being said, it's still tough to stop. But you can get a jump on it."

Credit: FoxSports