By Michael Kinney
With the Draymond Green saga dealt with, both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors vowed to get back to business on the court as they prepared for Game 4 tonight.
Kevin Durant insisted that the Thunder knew all along Green would be playing and prepared accordingly.
“I don’t even think it’s something we should be talking about,” Durant said . “They’re not going to suspend Draymond Green. He’s one of the premier players in the league, on arguably on of the best teams in the history of the game. They’re not going to suspend him. The league is pro-business, so I get it. No hard feelings.”
Despite having Green back, the Warriors have bigger problems they have to deal with. In two games this series, the Thunder have proven to have the ability to adapt to any situation. They went big in Game 1 and went small in Game 3. Both victories.
“We’ve got a lot of players that can do a lot of different things that most of the people in their position can’t do,” Steven Adams said. “For instance, KD [Kevin Durant] can guard 1 through 5. Players like that really help with a team like this. They pretty much play a certain way, which is shoot threes and stuff like that. It definitely helps. It shows our versatility.”
But Golden State reminds everyone they have been in this position before. Twice last season they were down 2-1 on their way to winning the NBA title.
Most expect the veteran Warriors to play their best game of the series tonight, not wanting to go down 3-1 to a hungry Thunder squad.
“Can’t really focus on what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Steph Curry said. “Like Apollo Creed said, ‘There is no tomorrow.’ That’s basically how you have to think. It may be a cliché or whatever, but the mentality is tonight is the only game we can control.”
However, Oklahoma City’s homecourt advantage has proven to be a real weapon. In the 2016 playoffs, the Thunder have a total of two losses at the Chesapeake Energy Arena by a combined five points.
But coach Billy Donovona doesn’t want his team relying on it or the fact they lead 2-1. He wants the Thunder to play in the here and now.
“I think you can get into these scenarios of looking down the road, and the reality is that has no bearing on anything,” Donovan said. “The only thing that really matters is what are we doing right now? How well did we come in today to prepare and adjust and make some changes in corrections. How well did we come in in shoot-around (today) and the preparation and focus do we have, and how well you play for 48 minutes?”
Michael Kinney is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org