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Warriors' Draymond Green on Defending Bigger Players: 'I'm a Motherf--king Dog'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2021

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in San Francisco, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Draymond Green isn't intimidated by bigger centers, and he's going to let people know about it.

After helping lead the Golden State Warriors to a 113-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday to clinch the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, Green was asked about guarding big guys like Jonas Valanciunas.

"I'm a motherf--king dog," he said. "People have been going at me for years with centers โ€ฆ that s--t ain't worked yet."

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โ€œIโ€™m a motherf--king dawgโ€<br><br>Draymond kept it real ๐Ÿ’€ NSFW pic.twitter.com/iHQZ5dSqgP

Green came one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double and finished with 14 points, nine boards and nine dimes. The Warriors outrebounded Memphis 46-39, although Valanciunas certainly did his part with 29 points and 16 rebounds.

Playing the de-facto center in small-ball lineups is nothing new for Green, who helped spearhead Golden State's three championships from 2015 through 2018 doing just that.

The Michigan State product won the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year and is a five-time All-Defensive selection as one of the best players of his generation on that side of the floor.

While Stephen Curry does the heavy lifting in the scoring department, Green is the defensive leader who makes sure the Warriors don't fall apart on that end.

He will likely have to continue being a defensive "dog" in the play-in tournament, as the Warriors may face the Los Angeles Lakers in the matchup between the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds. That would mean a showdown with a frontcourt that includes Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell, not to mention LeBron James barreling to the rim at times.

Fortunately for the Warriors, clinching the No. 8 seed gives them some leeway.

If they lose that first game in the play-in tournament, they will have one more chance against the winner of the contest between the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds.