SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Golden State Warriors locked up the No. 8 spot in NBA Western Conference Play-In Round with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday and star Draymond Green appears to already be in his usual ornery post-season mindset.
During a post-game interview, Green was asked about battling Memphis’ massive center Jonas Valanciunas all afternoon long.READ MORE: Fire Erupts Inside Tenderloin Apartment Building; San Francisco Firefighters Rescue Residents
Pregame pundits had opined that Valanciunas was simply too big and too talented for the smaller Warriors to handle.
“I’m a m………k—ing dog,” Green fired back. “Straight like that. I don’t know how else to tell you. People have been going at me for years with centers, they’ve been going at (Kevon Looney) for years, that s… ain’t worked yet, we’re dogs. So keep trying.”
With that he dropped the microphone and the interview came to an end.
Head coach Steve Kerr said it wasn’t just Green, his entire team was in a post-season mindset even before Sunday’s game.
“The mindset has already started,” he said in the post-game interview. “We felt like today was our first playoff game. We treated it as such. We said going into this game, told the guys we need to win two of the next three.”
On Wednesday, Golden State will be seeing a familiar playoff foe in Lebron James, who may be hobbled after reinjuring his ankle in Los Angeles’ win over New Orleans on Sunday night. Portland also won to clinch the No. 6 Western Conference playoff spot and relegate the Lakers to the play-in game.
James and the Warriors squared off in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018 when Lebron was playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State went 3-1 in those four contests.READ MORE: Four Wounded In San Jose Early Saturday Morning Shootings
“You are talking about two of the greatest players of all time,” Kerr said of the James-Curry playoff rivalry. “Both guys are still playing at such an elite level. Four meetings in the Finals is going to create a rivalry, but there is obviously such great mutual respect between the two of them.”
Curry currently owns a 22-16 record in head-to-head playoff contests with James.
But Wednesday will be different. Under the NBA’s play-in format, it will be win and you’re in the post season. Wednesday night’s loser will have one more shot at the post season as they will play the winner of the San Antonio Spurs-Memphis 9-10 play-in game.
The Warriors have won six straight, including back-to-back victories over Utah and Phoenix, to end the regular season and Steph Curry has been on a roll. He scored 46 points in Sunday’s win and finished the regular season as the NBA’s leading scorer.
Curry also joined Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with multiple scoring titles, MVPs and championships.
“He’s like the Picasso of our time,” teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson said. “You can’t have a knock on him. He’s the best doing it right now.”
Curry locked up his first scoring title since 2015-16 with his second basket of the game late in the first quarter. He made 9 of 22 3s and also contributed nine assists and seven rebounds. Curry averaged 32 points during his second 2,000-point season.MORE NEWS: Santa Clara County Mounts Effort to Boost Vaccination Rate to Reach Herd Immunity
“I’ve been blessed to be back healthy and be able to just play night in, night out at a high level, and the work that goes into it, it pays off, and it’s something that I really, really rely on, especially at this point in my career,” Curry said. “As the years go on, that is the difference-maker for me.”