Draymond Green ‘absolutely’ ready for postseason scrutiny, spotlight
Draymond Green knows he’s a marked man of sorts, especially given how the postseason went last season. The Golden State Warriors forward was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals due to an accumulation of flagrant foul points, a setback that arguably played a significant role in dooming the Warriors’ ultimate quest for back-to-back NBA titles.
And with another playoff run set to begin this weekend, Green understands his perceived penchant for arguably “dirty” play — specifically involving his reputation for groin shots on opponents (something that even inspired a video game) — will mean the spotlight will be on him.
“I’m looking forward to that scrutiny, because it’s great,” Green told Marc Stein in a “SportsCenter” interview. “If you don’t have scrutiny, if you don’t have pressure, if you don’t have spotlight, you’re not doing something right. No one cares. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Green undoubtedly is the linchpin that holds the Warriors’ defensive system together. A front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award, Green needs to avoid the same kind of play that got him in trouble last postseason. He insists he’s prepared for the spotlight.
“I’m ready for it, though,” Green continued. “I’ve learned from some of the things that have happened over the course of the last year for sure. Learned how to handle different things. … Obviously being suspended from Game 5 — just not putting myself in those positions, not accumulating flagrant fouls, (or) technical fouls, to even put the decision in someone else’s hands.”
Green claims an awareness going forward over how the opposition may may try to bait him into making questionable plays.
“I think that’s one of the biggest things for me,” he said. “It’s just being who I am and knowing exactly who that is and being comfortable with who I am, but not giving anyone any room to make me out to be what they want me to be.”
Green and the Warriors’ pursuit of a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals begins with a Game 1 first-round showdown against the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday afternoon.