Draymond Green isn’t one to hold back on words, and Wednesday night was no different.
Following the Golden State Warriors‘ 106-104 victory over the Houston Rockets, in what Stephen Curry called a “statement game,” Green was asked on if he felt “juiced up” after the Rockets engaged in a lot of pre-game trash-talk leading into the matchup.
The former Defensive Player of the Year didn’t sidestep the question — he managed to take a jab at the Warriors’ biggest rivals following their final regular-season contest.
“We don’t need to be juiced up for them talking,” Green said. “We beat them. So I don’t need to get juiced for them saying we’re not on their level. That’s just dumb. Doesn’t make sense. I’m not sure stupidity juices anyone.”
Not only was the game notable because the Rockets had gone 3-0 in all three of their previous meetings against the Warriors this season, Houston’s confidence was definitely at a high entering this contest. It was in the midst of a league-high nine-game winning streak, while Golden State was coming off a shocking 115-111 loss to the last-place Phoenix Suns.
What made it worse for the Rockets, back in action on Friday against the Suns (8 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), was how Clint Capela and Mike D’Antoni took a few verbal swipes at the Warriors after Curry referred to this as a “statement game.” Capela basically made mention of the Warriors’ struggles while D’Antoni just flat-out ridiculed them for losing to the 16-53 Suns.
Considering both the Warriors and the Rockets look like the best teams in the Western Conference in mid-March, it wouldn’t be a shock by any means to see them match up again in the postseason. And in all likelihood, we’ll see both teams at full strength — something that hasn’t been the case in the last two regular-season matchups as Kevin Durant missed Wednesday’s game and James Harden missed the Rockets’ win over the Warriors on Feb. 23.
With all of this said, Green’s blunt statement may be seen as obnoxious — but it’s the truth.
The Warriors have won three of the past four NBA titles and defeated the Rockets in the Western Conference finals last year. There really was no reason in the first place for them to allow the Rockets to get into their heads mentally.
And they didn’t — as last night clearly showed.