NBA Finals: Draymond Green says he played ‘like s—‘ in Warriors’ Game 3 loss vs. Celtics

From the final buzzer of Game 2, to the opening tip of Game 3, the majority of the NBA Finals conversations focused on Draymond Green. He was in peak form in Game 2, using his physicality on both sides of the ball to set the tone and help the Golden State Warriors tie the series with the Boston Celtics.

Many on the Boston side of things felt Green once again crossed the line, and maintained things would be different come Wednesday night. “I mean, you respond to fire with fire, right?” Marcus Smart said. “We’ve just got to turn around and do the same thing. If he’s going to come in here and try to be physical, this is our house and we’ve got to protect it.”

The Celtics did just that. They jumped out to an early lead, withstood the Warriors’ trademark third-quarter run, then pulled away down the stretch for a 116-100 win in a pivotal Game 3. The Celtics now have a 2-1 lead in the series, and are just two wins away from their first title since 2008. 

While there were plenty of reasons for the Celtics’ win, one of the big ones was that Green was essentially a non-factor in this game. He finished with two points, four rebounds, three assists, had more turnovers (2) than made baskets (1) and fouled out in the middle of the fourth quarter. 

The always candid Green took himself to task during his postgame press conference, saying he played “like s—.” 

“I just think I never found a rhythm, really on both ends of the floor,” Green continued. “Not enough force. But just got to find a rhythm quicker… I was soft. That’s what was most disappointing to me, for us.”

Instead of waiting around to see what Green would do, the Celtics threw the first punch in Game 3. With the crowd raining down “F— Draymond” chants at every opportunity, the team was just as aggressive on the court. Jaylen Brown, in particular, went right at Green. The two had gotten tangled up during Game 2, and Brown was clearly trying to send a message. At one point in the first quarter he waved away a screen so that he could go at Green one-on-one, and finished over him in traffic. 

The Celtics bounced back in Game 3 and did what they were supposed to do by defending homecourt. Now, it’s the Warriors’ turn to come up with a response and try to avoid going down 3-1. 

“There’s no big X’s and O’s adjustment in the NBA Finals,” Green said. “You know what they do. They know what you do. They played with more force in the game tonight, and we have to come out and do that on Friday.”

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