The Golden State Warriors went through their toughest stretch of the season immediately after losing Kevin Durant to a knee injury 17 games ago. However, the team has once again hit their stride, having won their 11th straight game, a 139-115 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday and said the team is in a good place right now and his guys are primed for their NBA Playoff run.
“Guys have gotten more comfortable, guys have really found that desire,” Green said. “You go through the course of a super long season and there is times where guys are just tired, and mentally and physically drained, but I think after we went through that one little stretch of where it was kind of rough – I think we lost like four of six, or six out of eight or something crazy – and we really found it after that.”
In fact, the Warriors are rolling so well right now, Green is being asked the question of whether or not his team is better without Durant.
“It’s very bizarre. I think everyone is always looking for something to talk about, some story line to put out there. We know, just like I think everyone else knows if they know anything about basketball, that were a much better team with Kevin on the floor than we are without him,” Green said. “Obviously, we’ve found a rhythm without him being out there, which you know, over the course of time I hope you can find a rhythm. He’s been missing, not missing, but out of our lineup since February 28th I think it was. Here we are a month and a half later, I hope you can find some type of rhythm. So I think we have done that, but I know we are and will be a much better team when he’s back out there on the floor, but it does say a lot about our team that people would say that.”
Green also said for those who think it’s on Durant to come in and fit where they need him when he comes back are wrong. The NBA champion said since their free agent meeting with Durant last off-season, it’s been about the selfless team in Golden State working around him.
“We knew if we were able to get him how much better of a team we’d be,” Green said of his team’s free agent pitch to Durant. “So when we went to get Kevin, it wasn’t hey Kevin, we want you to come and fit in to this offense the way guys have in these last couple years. No, we want to bring you into this offense, because we know if we can how much better this offense will be with him being a part of it.
“So that’s always our mindset. It’s never for him to come in and hey KD, like you have to fit into this offense. No. Go be you, and everyone else, we all know how to play, we all will figure it out, as we did.”
Green said along with some of his teammates at the meeting, Durant was wondering the same thing of how he’d fit into a perennial title contending team, and the outspoken forward said they all told him he wouldn’t.
“It was you don’t fit, but that’s not why we’re here recruiting you because you fit, no you don’t,” Green said honestly. “That’s the unique thing about this, but what’s so unique about it is you have a team like this, that’s not looking for you to fit. We know what we need and know what will make us a better team and you’re that, and so that’s why we want you.”