Draymond Green entered Game 2 of the NBA Finals with a very clear mindset: play hard.
“I couldn’t live with myself if we lost the NBA Finals because we couldn’t match strength with strength,” Green said before practice in Boston on Tuesday. “So I guess that was it for me like I said, that (the physical game) is my department. That’s where I’m supposed to lead and I can’t let my guys down.”
The lack of physical play is what struck Green the most when he watched the Game 1 video. He felt like the Warriors won that game for 42 minutes, but when they took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, the Celtics took advantage.
In his mind, it was what needed to be his main adjustment.
Green’s heightened intensity was felt immediately. On the first possession of the game, Green tied up Al Horford behind the 3-point line, forcing a turnover. That set the tone for how he was going to play all night.
“You get to the NBA Finals, and physicality and meeting strength with strength is important,” Green said. “It’s something that you have to bring to this game… when I saw the video, and even how I felt, I just didn’t think we were felt enough. You can’t get to this point, to this level and the reason why you lose It’s because your opponent didn’t feel you. That’s a shame.”
Green attributes his forceful, physical nature to where he grew up (Saginaw, Michigan) and the basketball era he watched as a child.
“Playing at Vets Park, playing at Civitan Recreation Center, obviously growing up I saw guys like Gary PaytonRasheed Wallace,” Green said. “I watched all those guys and how they went about their business. Dennis Rodman. Seeing those guys over the years and I have a great appreciation for Uncle Oak, how he enforced things. That’s part of the game. That’s a skill.”
So as far as Green is concerned, Game 2 wasn’t just a display of the heightened level of intensity he and the Warriors needed after the opening game of the series; it is also what they need, or more, to be champions.
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D-Green promises to be more physical for J3