Draymond Green: ‘No One is Going to Want to Play Us in the Playoffs’

“No one” is looking forward to facing the Warriors in next season’s playoffs, according to three-time NBA All-Star forward Draymond Green.

Green says Golden State, though obviously diminished by Kevin Durant‘s free agency exit this summer, “still got a great cast.”

The Dubs will be in survival mode until Klay Thompson eventually returns to action following surgery to repair a torn ACL.

Per NBC Sports Bay Area:

The Western Conference is vastly improved, but those counting the Warriors out of the title conversation should rethink their position. Green knows the Dubs will be dangerous when it’s winning time.

“No pumping up need to be done,” Green said about the Warriors’ upcoming season Thursday on CNBC’s “Power Money.”

“We still got a great cast with obviously Steph Curry leading the charge. We bring in D’Angelo Russel. Got a lot of young talent coming in — Willie Cauley-Stein — I plan on trying to play at the best of my ability this year, and obviously, with Klay [Thompson] coming back around February, no one is going to want to play us in the playoffs, that’s for sure.”

Related Draymond Green: Talk of Warriors Missing Playoffs ‘Crazy to Me’

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Steve Kerr: Warriors to ‘Re-Imagine Everything and Adapt Accordingly’

The Warriors need to “re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly” until All-Star guard Klay Thompson returns to action, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

Kerr says he’s excited to “implement everything” similar to what he went through during his first year in Golden State.

Kerr adds that he looks forward to a “lot of new beginnings” for the Dubs next season.

Per The Athletic:

“That first year we had to implement everything — that takes time,” Kerr told The Athletic. “It’s exciting, and that’s what we’re going to do with the new group, so that’s really exciting.

“That part excites me. It’s going to be much more similar to Year 1 for my staff.”

Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins are no longer on the team and Andre Iguodala was traded to try to reshape the roster on the fly. Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 of the Finals, which is expected to keep him out months.

“Klay being out is really the big change,” Kerr said. “Losing Kevin, Andre, Shaun, obviously, those are huge losses. Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends. Klay was always an integral part of everything. Movement on offense, but also the guarding of the ballhandler on defense, switching onto bigs. So until he gets back, we’ve got to re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly.”

Related Joe Lacob: Warriors ‘Legitimately Have a Shot’ at Winning the Championship

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Kevin Durant: ‘I’m Just Different from the Rest’ of the Warriors

Kevin Durant, over time, grew to realize he was simply “different” from the rest of his now-former Warriors teammates.

“I’ll never be of those guys,” Durant says after bolting from the Dubs as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

KD also believes Golden State’s motion offense “only works to a certain point.”

Per The WSJ:

“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he says. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.… Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.”

That he stood out, stood apart from the group, felt preordained.

“As time went on,” he says, “I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there.”

From a strictly competitive, strategic standpoint, Durant had come to fear that Golden State had hit a ceiling.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off, because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.”

Related ‘Hell, No’: Kevin Durant Not Blaming Warriors for Achilles Injury

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Joe Lacob: Klay Thompson is the ‘Greatest Two-Guard on the Planet’

Despite Klay Thompson‘s torn ACL, Warriors owner Joe Lacob had “no doubt” in his mind prior to offering him five-year, $190 million max deal this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

Thompson is “the greatest two-guard on the planet,” according to Lacob.

Golden State intends to keep Klay and the remaining core “for a long time.”

Per NBC Sports Bay Area (via The Warriors Insider Podcast):

“There was no doubt in my mind, whatsoever,” Lacob said to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole on the latest episode of The Warriors Insider Podcast. “I, and we, want Klay to be here for a long time. He’s one of my favorite players in the world.”

Thompson is expected to be out until around February or March and return before the playoffs if all goes well in his recovery.

“ACLs … not good, ok we know that,” Lacob said. “But stuff happens and that’s an injury that now people know how to manage. Plenty of people have come back from ACLs and done pretty well. Honestly, it didn’t even remotely cross my mind.”

For his ability to play at such a high level on both ends of the court, Lacob sent Thompson some high praise.

“Personally, I think he’s the greatest two-guard — I’m old school. I know it’s positionless basketball, but I go by positions. To me, he’s the greatest two-guard on the planet,” Lacob said. “He’s both ends. He’s a two-way player. He’s got great size and he’s an incredible shooter and he plays hard. What more can you ask for than Klay Thompson? Why would you not want Klay Thompson?”

Related Klay Thompson: ‘I’m Going to Come Back 110%’

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Joe Lacob: Warriors ‘Legitimately Have a Shot’ at Winning the Championship

The Golden State Warriors are one of “nine of 10 teams” with a legitimate shot at winning it all next season, according to owner Joe Lacob.

Lacob points out that the Warriors have the enviable luxury of playing with four NBA All-Stars.

While many have been quick to write off the Dubs after losing out on Kevin Durant to free agency and Klay Thompson to a torn ACL, Lacob says they “have a shot to be pretty good by the second half of the year.”

Per NBC Sports Bay Area:

“There are nine or 10 teams that legitimately have a shot, or they think they do,” Warriors CEO Joe Lacob told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday. “That’s great for the league. And we’re one of those teams.”

The remaking of the roster, with combo guard D’Angelo Russell the prize offseason acquisition, has left only three players – Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney – set to enter training camp Sept. 30 with more than one season as a Warrior.

“By All-Star break, we’re going to see where we are,” Lacob said.

“I personally have great faith in our coaching staff and our players. I like any team that has Steph, Klay and Draymond. When you add D’Angelo Russell to that, I’ll take that. I don’t know of any other team that has more than two All-Stars, and we have four. From that standpoint, we have a shot to be pretty good by the second half of the year.”

Related Draymond Green: Talk of Warriors Missing Playoffs ‘Crazy to Me’

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Fantasy Basketball: My $200 Draft Recap

Like most of you fantasy nuts, I am starved for basketball this time of year and can’t wait to get started. I decided to take matters into my own hands and started a league. I wanted it to be realistic and meaningful, so I set the buy-in at $200. Thankfully, I was able to gather 11 knowledgeable players and we drafted last week. Most of these guys are sharp, so there weren’t many bargains. Here is a recap of how it went down.