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2022 NBA Finals: In Boston, Warriors’ Draymond Green gets his fourth ring and the last laugh

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Draymond Green, fourMultiple NBA champion, Golden State Warriors living legend, TNT analyst, rising podcaster and future Hall of Famer had the last laugh at TD Garden. In the same building where he was greeted with boos and F-You, where he watched most of the fourth quarter from the bench six days earlier, Green left his fingerprints throughout Game 6 – 12 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks. -shot, two interceptions, just one foul – and the villain emerged victorious.

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Green took the blame when he missed 10 of his 12 shots and the Boston Celtics stole home court advantage in Game 1 of the Finals. He took the hit when he fouled in Game 3 and the crowd, as he put it, “took me by surprise”. And when the Warriors needed to win a decisive game in a hostile environment to clinch their fourth championship in eight years, Green was indispensable. He clocked 42 minutes, the most games without overtime since June 13, 2019, when they last played Game 6 of the final.

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“If you’re into basketball and watch the first game, I didn’t have a bad first game,” Greene said. “And I had an incredible Game 2. And Game 3 was kind of terrible, terrible. And game 4 wasn’t my best effort, but not exactly special. energy.

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“Game 6, I dominated.”

Stephen Curry finally rightfully lifted the Finals MVP trophy after winning 103-90, but do you look at that final score? This, like the rest of Golden State’s wins in the series, was a dirty one, credited to a defense second behind Boston, more reflective of Green than anyone else. The Celtics had a horrendous 96.8 points per 100 possessions in Game 6, and just 81.8 points per 100 at half court according to Cleaning The Glass.

“Our defense has been impressive this series, especially in the last three games,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “The Celtics had the best defense in the league, but we were right behind them. I think what really made this group special, apart from the obvious with Steph, was the defensive intensity and versatility. point to, the leader of it all.”

After both losses to Golden State, Green said that he and the team needed to play with more power and that Boston was too comfortable. The Warriors are facing an offense that can reach great heights, but can fail when pressured and pushed on. They struggled with the Celtics’ half-court defense, but they knew they would enjoy transition moments if they could create them. In the decider, Boston turned the ball 22 times, 13 of which were interceptions. And whether the Celtics were coughing or missing, Green was usually the guy who pushed the ball around the court, causing them to step on their heels.

Green was also one of the many board breaking guys. Early in the second quarter, he pushed Jason Tatum out of the way and kicked the ball straight to Jordan Poole to win the triple. About a minute later he caught up with another miss and immediately found Poole for another one. On Thursday, the Warriors recovered 40.7% of misses and scored 21 second chance points.

“He’s our leader, and we need him to be on the edge,” said big Golden State player Kevon Looney. “He and Steph have really different leadership styles and they balance each other out. When you have Draymond risking his body, he can be the villain whatever you want. do it for the team. We can’t give him credit for what he does for us.”

Looney said that the Warriors “play with the same energy he brings to defense”, adding that “we always talk about Steven on offense and kind of compare Draymond on defense in the same way.” In other words, you expect him to set the tone for the defense, tell everyone where to be, and make moves like this:

However, you don’t necessarily expect him to float on Golden State’s first offensive possession, or make two corner threes, one of them right in front of the Boston bench, or make a long deuce over Robert Williams III for the Celtics. make a run:

“He always says, ‘I’m 90 percent in the clutch,'” Looney said. “We always say that when it’s a close game, he’s going to be in action and doing something. When you have someone you can rely on and rely on, it gives everyone confidence.”

“He’s brash and just the way he is, but when you need him, he shows up,” said Andre Iguodala.

Greene said he knew he hadn’t been able to put together a great, finished game in the series. For him, it all came down to staying on course.

“I said, ‘What could be better than putting it together tonight,'” Greene said. “I don’t think I heard ‘Y-you Draymond’ all night. They couldn’t. So, you know, it’s easy to chant “F-you” when someone has a bad game, but can’t you do it when they have a great game? I didn’t hear much of it tonight. Maybe I’ve just been so locked up.”

On Thursday there was another “F— You, Draymond” chant. This time, Green’s raving teammates in the champagne-soaked dressing room said it with well-deserved smiles on their faces.

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