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Draymond Green playoffs diary, Part 17

‘We have four more wins to get.’

Draymond Green has evolved into one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA, and perhaps all of sports — the vocal leader and emotional engine for one of the most compelling NBA teams in recent memory.

Green has agreed to give The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears an exclusive look into his life on and off the court, via a playoff diary that Green hopes will end with a second straight NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors.


Draymond Green Diary No. 17

The Golden State Warriors advanced to the 2016 NBA Finals after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 victory in a deciding Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Warriors came back to win the series after being down 3-1. Green had 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 40 minutes. The reigning NBA champion Warriors will face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals, beginning Thursday at Oracle Arena.

My emotions were all over the place at the final buzzer. Just excited. This doesn’t happen every day. Not that you want the opportunity to be down 3-1 and come back, but it doesn’t happen all the time. I always say you got to take the bad with the good. We took the bad, but we continued to fight and that’s what it’s all about.

“I said after being down 3-1 that this team has done a lot of stuff that people ain’t seen. A lot of stuff nobody ever thought we could do or believed we could do. Nobody believed that we could come back from 3-1. But we continued to show them. They ain’t seen anything like this.

“I’m very proud of this group because everybody stepped up. Everybody played a role in this. To be down 3-1, backs against the wall, everything is against us … We battled every game like our lives depended on it. This is the result. I’m very proud of this group. This is a resilient group that battles.

“The Thunder were very resilient. They battled this entire series. That made this the toughest series we ever had. Mad respect to them. Take my hat off to them. They made everything tough and they never quit. They continued to battle, battle and battle. It wasn’t easy. They deserved to be there [as Western Conference champions] just as much as we did. But we found the way to make the winning plays when we needed to.

“It means a lot to be back in the Finals. I think only seven teams have repeated. So to have that opportunity to repeat, it means a lot. It’s tremendous. A great feeling. But the job isn’t done. We didn’t come into this season with the goal to get back to the Finals. We came with the goal to win the Finals. We have four more wins to get.

“It’s going to be tough. [The Cavaliers] are a good team. They’ve been playing well. But at the same time, I think we match up well against them. I like our team. I like what we do. So looking forward to it.

“LeBron has been LeBron this year. Obviously, he brings a lot of experience to the Finals. He’s a guy who has been there six times in a row, seven times overall. He brings a lot of experience, but we bring championship experience, too. Not as much as him, but we bring some experience as well so we’re definitely looking forward to it.

“I’m not sure how much I will guard him. We’ll see what the game plan is and go from there. It’s really not my focus. The focus is get our game plan, lock in on that and get wins regardless to who.

“We always talk about the numbers on this team. Like I said, everybody 1 through 15 who stepped on this floor brought something to the table. And that’s the key to this comeback. And that will be the key to us winning this championship.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.