Screen assists have become a running joke on Twitter but apparently Draymond Green loves them.
The idea of a screen assist makes sense. If a big man sets a great screen, leveling a defender and clearing space for a teammate to make an open jumper, they’ve helped create a scoring opportunity, just like when a ball-handler threads a bounce pass through a tight space to put it in the hands of a big man at the rim.
Draymond Green is all in on the idea, explaining to reporters postgame that the definition above is exactly how he measures one key area of his offensive contributions.
Of course, Draymond probably spends a lot more time practicing and playing than he does perusing the NBA’s starts website so he may not realize that screen assists are an actual statistic that’s hand-tracked by the NBA. For example, I can tell you that Draymond is averaging 1.9 screen assists per game this season, netting an average of 5.0 points (likely due to Stephen Curry’s elite 3-point shooting).
Is Draymond Green in on the screen assists joke?
However, the idea of screen assists has also become a running joke on Twitter, mostly at the expense of Utah Jazz fans (who are, by and large, lovely people). You see, Rudy Gobert is tied for the league lead in screen assists at 6.7 per game and he’s finished first or second in the league in each for the four previous seasons for which this statistic was tracked.
Jazz fans (like fans of any team) love their guys and love shouting out their accomplishments on social media. Because Gobert has become so closely linked with screen assists, and because it’s a stat that still hasn’t really made its way into the mainstream, there is a perception that Jazz fans are celebrating Gobert for nonsensical achievements. Pointing out triple-doubles when Gobert hits double-digits in points, rebounds and screen assists hasn’t done any favors in getting this stat accepted.
Jazz fans have a complicated relationship with Draymond Green but if he’s going to stan for screen assists, then he’s stanning for Gobert. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all?