Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is a very confident player. This is the main recipe for his success. However, this doesn't mean that he's not aware of the up-and-coming teams that are out to spoil their back-to-back championship hopes. From Green's point of view, there are only two legitimate threats in the Western Conference.
Two of the best
Green had pretty interesting choices. One of the teams he named didn't even make the playoffs. Meanwhile, the other team had a deep run, but the Warriors eliminated them in five games.
"The Clippers got Ty Lue as their coach who is arguably... I mean I have a great coach myself. But for the sake of the old media debates. Ty Lue is arguably one of the best coaches in the NBA. Arguably the best. Someone can make that argument. And then they have great players," Green said, per The Old Man and The Three podcast.
Besides the presence of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Green also noted the critical additions of Norman Powell and Robert Covington to their roster. The Clippers acquired them at the trade deadline, and analysts considered it one of the strongest midseason moves of the 2021-22 NBA Season.
Green didn't expound much on why Lue is one of the best out there. But we all know why: Lue was the engineer behind the Cleveland Cavaliers' 3-1 comeback against the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Yes, he had LeBron James — easily one of the best players ever. But Lue outplayed Steve Kerr in that series, plain and simple.
The other team Green considers a legitimate threat is the Dallas Mavericks. The presence of Luka Doncic is his main reason though they discarded them easily in the Western Conference Finals; Green knows when he sees serious talent on the rise.
"Dallas is a threat because they have one of the best players to play. By all means, don't get it twisted. There were a lot of reasons why we won the finals. But we had the best player every series we played in. So your chances of winning go through the roof. In most series that Luka Doncic plays in, he's going to be the best player on the floor," Green said.
Apart from Luka, Green took note of the Mavs' coaching staff, helmed by Jason Kidd. He praised general manager Nico Harrison and assistant coach Jared Dudley, whom Green called the Mavs' "secret ingredient."
Green didn't forget about the Memphis Grizzlies — the young team which gave them a run for their money in the Western Conference Semis. However, Green classified them as a "little threat."
Green believes that the Grizzlies will face a reality check next season. No one expected them to do well last year, which, to a certain extent, helped in their cause. But now that everyone knows they are a strong squad, other teams will prepare better than before. These are challenges that will unravel the Grizzlies' true identity.