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Draymond Green playoffs diary, Part 12

‘The mentality in Oklahoma City is to just get one game.’

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.

Diary Entry No. 12: May 19, 2016

The Golden State Warriors hammered the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, 118-91, in Game 2 on Wednesday night to split the best-of-seven Western Conference finals. Green had 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in 32 minutes. Warriors guard Stephen Curry had 28 points and made five 3-pointers in 29 minutes and injured his elbow after wildly diving into the stands for a loose ball. Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo was in attendance, watching his former Spartans forward in Green.

I was excited driving to the arena. I was anxious just to get back on the court after losing a game. For two days you’ve got to just sit with that Game 1 loss. I was anxious to get back on the floor because I know I didn’t play like myself and we didn’t play like ourselves.

“Before Game 2, Coach [Izzo] just told me to be myself, no complaining, stay the course and be tough. I’ve been talking to Izzo for about a week now. It’s always good to see him as well as our athletic director [at Michigan State] Mark Hollis.

“Just to have those guys in the building to give them a little taste of our world is good. It’s great, obviously, seeing them and I look forward to catching up with them when I get out of this locker room. It’s always pretty exciting having them around.”

Steven Adams is a competitor. I’m a competitor. Stuff like (trash talking and being physical) happens throughout the course of the game. It was nothing that was too serious or anything like that. But at the end of the day, we are out there to compete. He is one of the tough guys that bring energy to their team and I try to do that for my team. It is what it is.”

“When Curry went after that ball, I thought ‘C’mon, just let it go and we will be all right. It’s playoff basketball.’ Every possession matters. He showed that diving over the fans for the ball. But I’d rather him not do that again. I saw it and said, ‘Oh, it’s a bursa sac [elbow injury].’ He was like, ‘Yeah, it’s fat.’

“I’ve actually had one of those before. It’s painful for a while. It’s going to stay there for a while. That wasn’t a pretty sight. I was a little worried. You just ice it, put a little compression on it and hopefully it will go down. Usually, those things take quite a while to go down. But it is usually something you can play with depending on the severity of it.”

“It’s going to be tough playing in Oklahoma. They have a very tough crowd. It’s very loud in there all the time. They really get it going there. They feed off their crowd. We are coming to set the tempo immediately and trying to get the crowd out of the game.

“The mentality in Oklahoma City is to just get one game, really. We get two, that’s a bonus. But we got to get one and get home-court advantage back. Hope it will be Game 3. Just lock in. Obviously, winning by the margin we won by tonight makes the game a lot harder. No. 1, they are going to be pissed off. You tend to relax a little bit, but hopefully being that we were down 1-0 and we don’t relax thinking, ‘Oh, hey, we won by 27 and the next game is going to be like that.’ It’s not. “

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.