Programming note: Watch Steph Curry's MVP press conference today at 2pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
PORTLAND – With the Warriors holding a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals and MVP teammate Stephen Curry making a spectacular return, Draymond Green pronounced the Trail Blazers ready to tumble out of the playoffs.
Not in seven games or even six, but after Game 5 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
“Do I think they’re done? Of course I think they’re done,” Green said late Monday night, after a stirring 132-125 Warriors victory in Game 4 at Moda Center. “If I don’t think they’re done, I don’t know who else is going to think it. We’re going home with a 3-1 lead. It’s up to us to close it out. And I trust my teammates, I trust our team, to come out ready to go and close this series out.
“Of course I think they’re done. It’s time for us to close this series. We did what we needed to do. We came on the road and got one win. We took care of home court. Now it’s time for us to do it again.”
It was Green who, in the wake of losing Game 3 on Saturday, vowed the Warriors would win Game 4. They did, with Stephen Curry returning and scoring 40 points, including 17 in an overtime period culled from fiction.
Green said his provocative comments after Game 3 were deliberate, part of a plan to not only send a message to Portland but also to prod his teammates and himself.
“I wanted to give them bulletin-board material,” he said, adding that he told Curry of his intentions prior to taking the podium after Game 3.
“It wasn’t any disrespect to them,” Green said, “It was more so at my guys, to make our guys respond to what I’m saying – not to say, ‘Oh, we don’t have any respect for the Blazers’ or ‘They can’t beat us.’ They’ve proved they could beat us.
“But it was more so me giving them bulletin-board material for my guys to see that and step up, and also for me to step up. And, so, that’s where I was at with that. And it worked.”