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May 19, 2019

Draymond Green

Portland, Oregon - Practice Day

Q. How much do you feel like you've stepped it up in this series? Everybody has been talking about it. What did you have as far as a mindset coming in, and do you feel like you've completely executed it?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I just really wanted to come in with the mindset of being more aggressive. We've all talked about how with Kevin [Durant] and DeMarcus [Cousins] out, someone has to pick up that slack. I just tried to do my part in doing that.

Obviously, I'm not capable of doing what Kevin does on the basketball floor, and no one else on this team is. Or DeMarcus. So collectively, we've got to do that. I just try to take it upon myself to do my part and also try to create a pace that I know we can be successful at. I know when we get the game at our pace, not many teams can play with us at that pace. I've just tried to really force the issue in that regard.

Q. You said last night that you were disgusted at times watching yourself play. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Any specific times where you went, whoa, I've really got to ratchet this back up?
DRAYMOND GREEN: There were times where I looked back at the game and I would see my body language or me pouting to a referee or something would go wrong. We'd be watching film and something would go wrong. Nobody on the team may see it on the film, but I see myself in the corner somewhere doing like this. It was disgusting to me. I remember one time earlier this year, I got into it with Zach Zarba. After the game, it was just like, Wow, that was embarrassing. And so it's something I really wanted to be mindful of, especially coming into these playoffs.

I've been a victim of that type of scenario before, and I can't make the same mistake twice. I also realize how much energy I was wasting on something that I can't change. I can go cry and complain about a call all I want. It's not changing. So why even focus my energy toward that? It's pointless. So I just try to really be more mindful of it.

Q. You mentioned your kids. Has your little guy mimicked you doing that? Or you're aware of him watching you?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, he plays on his little hoop and then he'll stomp around. It's like, I like the intensity but slow down, young fella. (Laughter.)

I realize how impressionable the kids are at the ages they're at. I just really want to be a good example for them and show them the right thing. My son was playing, he was shooting and flopping. I was like, You've got to stop watching the NBA. He'd fall on the floor: Oh, Daddy, help me up. What are you flopping for? (Laughter.)

Just really impressionable at this age. I want to make sure I'm setting a good example for them as well.

Q. Has he flexed yet dunking on you?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, he'll get one of those shots and say, Aaaaahhh (growling). It's pretty funny.

Q. Are you concerned at all when you make that change that you might lose a little bit of your edge at all?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No, because it's just directing the energy toward somewhere else, direct it to more positive things. I think I can play with the same passion and aggression and not argue with referees.

It's funny because when the stuff happened with Kevin earlier this year, he said everybody kind of thinks, Oh, that's just Draymond; he's emotional. But he said to me then: You're not emotional; I've seen you locked in and not say a word to the referees. I'm not giving you that pass. And that's kind of stuck with me, too. Like I said, I just try to be really mindful of that.

Q. You can see the extra gear that you find in the postseason. Is it so hard to do that when you've just played 82 and you have to find more in the tank at a time when your body is also --
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think for me personally, I kind of view the season in three different parts. You come into the season and you're ready to go. Then you hit that point where it's like, All right, give me the All-Star break. And then you come out of the All-Star break and you're refreshed and ready to go again. That works for two weeks and it's like, Get me to the playoffs.

I feel like you get new life at each one of those moments. For me personally, once you get that new life in the playoffs, it's the playoffs. If you've got to find life again during the playoffs, you're going home and you should go home.

It's the part of the year I love. This is the part where you're playing for all the marbles. And if you can't get up for this, what can you get up for?

I was talking to David Guthrie last night. I felt like he had missed two calls at the beginning of the game. I was like, All right, David, you've got to wake up. He said, Draymond, I'm awake; who can't wake up for this? And I said, You're right, but you'd be surprised how many guys can't. Don't not give yourself credit for being able to get up for big games because everybody can't.

That's my mindset going into a game. It's the playoffs. If you can't raise the level now, why do you do this? So that's just kind of how I view it.

Q. A lot of players elevate their play in the playoffs. You've done it before. We've seen your triple doubles before in the playoffs. And with KD out, you have to meet the challenge. Easier said than done. What's different for you mentally, because this feels different the way you're playing through this stretch?
DRAYMOND GREEN: When I finish the playoffs every year, I'm exhausted -- and more so mentally than physically. I view these games like life or death. I'll be stressed out.

When you have that mindset when you're viewing it that way, it's easy to raise your game because it's bigger than just that particular game for me. There have been times where I'm putting too much strain on myself or too much stress on myself. I can't change it because this is the time I live for. This is what I enjoy the most. This is what you play for. This is what you train for, to be at your best at this time of year, to try to win a championship.

When you look at it from that standpoint, which is the way I look at it, it makes it a lot easier to step up to that challenge, because you're playing for something so much bigger than to win that game.

Q. Following up on that, how motivating of a factor is it for you guys to be able to close tomorrow and have those nine days to get everybody time to heal and time to refresh mentally?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it's very motivating for us to try to sweep this series and have that time off. Obviously, we're a little banged up, so nine days off will be great for us. Allow Andre [Iguodala] time to heal. Shaun [Livingston] is old. A good week off. (Laughter.) But also allow the possibility of Kevin and DeMarcus to get healthy and come back as well.

It's very important for us to come out tomorrow with the right mindset. We didn't do that against the Clippers. We extended the series, then all of a sudden Klay and Steph were going into the Houston series questionable because of the ankle injuries they suffered in the series that should have been over. So we understand that. We've got a great opportunity.

We know they're a very resilient group. They're not going to lay down. They have great leadership in Dame [Lillard] and CJ [McCollum]. They're going to come out and continue to play and play with the force that they've been playing with. It's on us to make sure we come out with the right mindset and focus that we know that it takes to close out a series, especially on the road.

Q. How mentally taxing is it to not only be doing it on the court by yourself but also to lift your teammates because you do that all year long and then in the playoffs?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, that's just who I am. That's who I am to this team. And I enjoy that. It's not really mentally taxing to have to lift my teammates up.

However, guys lift me up as well. It's not just me lifting everybody else up. Guys lift me up. That's the mark of a great team, when everybody is lifting each other up. We're all going to have our down moments when things aren't going our way; who's there to pick you up, or do they just let you fall? If they let you fall, you fall right into your bed at home, on your couch, and enjoy your summer. If you pick each other up, you continue to move.

That's the part of my role on this team that's something I enjoy. I've always enjoyed it. It just is what it is. That part of it isn't really mentally taxing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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