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May 31, 2017

Draymond Green

Oakland, California: Practice Day

MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A lot of players like to downplay matchups, they like to "we don't care who we're going to play." Is this a matchup you wanted going back even a year?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Obviously when you lose to a team, you want to see that team again. I think that's just the nature of any competitor. In saying that, we wouldn't be disappointed to be playing anyone else in The Finals, and they wouldn't be disappointed as well. At the end of the day, the goal is to win a championship, and whoever's in front of you, you have to beat that squad.

Now that this matchup has come to fruition, we're definitely excited about it, the opportunity to be playing a team three years straight in the NBA Finals. I don't know how many times that's happened. I don't think it's happened any. But it's a special thing, and it's one that we're definitely excited about. But most importantly, like I said, the goal is to win the championship, regardless of who you're facing.

Q. There seems to be certainly emotions for you in this series. You've been outspoken about how badly you want to beat them, and of course what happened last year and the suspension and maybe turning the series because of that.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think that there's emotions for everyone in this series. If it's not, you're in the wrong series. So whether I had been suspended or not, I wanted to come into the NBA Finals with high emotions, you don't get here without it.

Q. You guys have had great success historically against Kevin Love, defending him, but he's playing at a pretty high level right now, especially Celtics series. What did you see, what are you seeing out of him that maybe is different, or why has he been so good recently?
DRAYMOND GREEN: He's playing more confident.

Q. What do you guys need to do to take that confidence away again?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Just do what we do. Not give up easy shots, make him take tough shots, and live with the result.

Q. Given the Cavs' efficiency throughout the post-season, what do you as a defensive-minded player consider a successful night against them?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Winning the game. At the end of the day, it's the NBA Finals, you're not trying to have some high offensive efficiency rating or defensive efficiency rating. You're trying to win. And if that rating is extremely bad, you're not going into the locker room disappointed. Hey, you win. So the goal is to win. All those ratings and stuff go out the window when it's this time of the year.

Q. You have had great success in matchups with Kevin Love, not only in The Finals last year but in the regular season the last couple of years. What is it that works against Kevin Love? What can you do to kind of bug him, get inside his head to kind of neutralize some of the things he does so well and so effortlessly?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I just try to use my speed to my advantage. Try to take him out of spots where he's comfortable. Make him do some things that maybe he don't want to do. In saying that, he can still have great games. But just got to stay locked in, try to minimize him as much as possible. When he's going, he makes their team a lot better, so it is my job to try to take him out of the game. It doesn't always happen that way, it doesn't, and it's definitely not easy, but it's possible.

Q. Is he susceptible to a lot of trash talk? Can that take him away a little bit?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Everybody's susceptible to that. I don't care who you are.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Kevin Durant, obviously what he's brought to the team this year, what the expectation of him is in this Finals, and do you believe that there is more pressure on him than any other person because he doesn't have a ring and the decision he made in the summer?
DRAYMOND GREEN: One, he's been great for us all year. Just from what he's added to this team, giving us that option of when we're maybe struggling or shots aren't falling, we got a guy we can go to that's going to get a bucket or go to the free throw line and stop the bleed. That's been very important for us. He's been huge on the defensive end, where he's never really gotten much credit for in his career, of being a defensive guy. But he's one of the better defenders in this league. He's been great for us. And then just having a guy like that around who's been through everything, who has seen it all, from the highest level, to add that into the mix is great, but yet have the ego that he has to just fit right in with everyone else, I think that's very important.

As far as pressure, I think pressure is what you make it. To say he's going to be under pressure because everyone is going to try to make it like he's under pressure, I don't think that -- I know that doesn't matter because I know as a competitor and as someone who tries to reach greatness every day and knowing that Kevin, who reaches, tries to reach greatness with every single thing he do, from going through an individual workout and every move he do is hard. That's how focused he is on being great. No one would be able to put more pressure on him than he's going to put on himself or expect more than for what he's going to think of himself, that decision is what it is, it was made a year ago, and it's behind us.

We're happy to have him here. We're playing in the NBA Championship, and that's all that matters. It's not Kevin came here, you have to win the championship. That's the goal, but when you're trying to reach greatness, pressure comes with that. It's not necessarily that people are going to make more pressure come with it because of what they think. Couldn't care less what everybody else think, he wants to be great, he's going to go out there and try to reach greatness, and with that comes pressure from yourself more than anybody can ever put on you.

Q. What do you think make your team so special as to win 12 games in the first 12 games in the Playoffs, and what do you think is going to take you to win Game 1 of this series?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think always just trying to stick to the game plan, using each other on the offensive end and defensive end, playing together. I think we have a special type of basketball that we play, and it's been successful for us.

As far as Game 1 goes, I mean, it's just come out and play our brand of basketball. I think when we do that, we're tough for anyone to beat. And we come out and don't turn the ball over, just get a shot up each and every time, I think the odds are in our favor when we do that and get it done on the defensive end, when we get on a run and we generate offense that way.

Q. Getting suspended last year in The Finals, how much have you had to kind of carry that with you? What did you learn from it? And now that you're back here, what's kind of your perspective on that whole experience?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I don't really carry it with me. I'm a firm believer in [stuff] happens. And carrying it with you for what? I carried the lessons that I learned with me, but the actual incident, it's -- I mean, I put that behind me a long time ago. The things that it taught me is it's put me in the position of where I am today. I feel better than I've ever felt emotionally. Just having my emotions in place than I've ever felt.

So it's all things that happen bad aren't that bad, when you take a step back and look at them. It's something that I learned from and will stick with me for the rest of my life. And not that, not the suspension, like I said, the lessons that the suspension taught me.

Q. Kind of following up on that, this team had so much in the way of expectations last year coming off 73 wins and then to lose the way you did, those three straight losses, what was the internal conversation among you guys coming into this season, how much did that hurt, how much did it motivate you to get back to this spot?
DRAYMOND GREEN: The same conversation coming into every season. Goal is to win a championship. I don't really think you need extra motivation to do that. You don't come into the season, oh, man, we lost in three. I don't even -- I don't know if 3-1 has been mentioned in our locker room one time this year. It's not something that -- when you're chasing greatness, that's the expectation. You don't need something to motivate you to try to reach that. If that's already your goal, you don't get much more motivation from anywhere else than greatness, because it's so hard to reach.

And so for us that's the goal anyway, to try to build a dynasty and be great each and every time we step on the floor. That's all the motivation we needed. We didn't need to come in and say, hey, man, we lost in The Finals, let's get back. If we had won that, we would try and get back anyway.

So that's the goal in this organization with this team, and that's going to always be the goal.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Draymond.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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