Draymond Green Finals diary, Part 20
‘If we want to get this done, it’s war and we have to approach it like that.’
Draymond Green has evolved into one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA, and perhaps all of sports — the vocal leader and emotional engine for one of the most compelling NBA teams in recent memory.
Green has agreed to give The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears an exclusive look into his life on and off the court, via a playoff diary that Green hopes will end with a second straight NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors.
Draymond Green Diary #20
The Golden State Warriors were routed 120-90 by the host Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night. The Warriors own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Green had just six points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field, missing all four 3-point attempts, to go with seven rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes. The Warriors’ All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled again offensively with a combined 29 points on 10-of-26 shooting from the field and 4-of-16 shooting from 3-point range. The Warriors never recovered from being down 33-16 at the end of the first quarter. The Cavaliers host the Warriors in Game 4 on Friday night.
“We just got to be better. I think we got bullied tonight and we got bullied bad. I will take that one on the chin. I’ll have my troops ready to go on Friday, ready for war. That’s what it’s going to be. If we want to win, if we want to get this done, it’s war and we have to approach it like that.
“All three of us [Warriors All-Stars] have been pretty awful. That’s my personal opinion.
“I was clapping when I was walking to the locker room because we just lost one game. We’re in a great spot. Everyone is going to panic and say, ‘It’s a different series now, the Cavs did this and the Cavs did that.’ And I like where we are at. I know there is one simple adjustment in order to change the game, and that’s play hard. I’m just looking forward to Friday.
“I wouldn’t say I’m stunned [by the score]. Obviously, you expect to be better in the NBA Finals. Let’s face it, they were pretty much facing elimination. When you go down 3-0, it’s tough to come back. You expect them to play with more desperation than we played with. We have to play with the same desperation we played with in Game 1 and 2. The same effort.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m stunned, because it’s not a losing team over there. They are back-to-back in the Finals for a reason. They got leadership over there. You don’t expect them to lay an egg in Game 3 and they’re down 2-0. I expect them to come out and play hard. But I expected us to play harder.
“What I said on the bench is, ‘We got to fight.’ It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. They’re outworking us. They’re bullying us. They were outworking us on both ends of the floor. If we come out and fight, we make any game a game. When we did that in this game, we made it a game. But we got to do that for 48 minutes, especially on the road.
“The Cavs did the exact same thing we were doing offensively. They just outplayed us. Obviously, their guys knocked down shots. J.R. [Smith] had a good game — he knocked down some shots. Kyrie [Irving] had a better game. LeBron [James] played better. Obviously, they had guys playing better. When you outwork someone, you usually play better. It doesn’t surprise me they played better because we didn’t work at the level we needed to work at or compete at the level we needed to compete at …
“They came out ready to go. Ain’t no crowd get you up 9-0 out the gate. They came out ready to play. They did that. You got to give those guys credit. We got to come out with a better effort Friday or you’ll lose again. That simple.
“I don’t do anything [on off nights]. I get dinner. Go back to my room. Play some dominoes with guys in the hotel. Nothing really. Sometimes you get a lot of people trying to take pictures when you go out. They interrupt your meal or people talk [trash]. But at the end of the day, it’s a part of what you do.
“Like [Tuesday], we had a team dinner and people outside the window taking pictures and beating on the window. That’s it. That’s part of the territory and is something that you learn to deal with.”