“Everybody’s susceptible to that,” Green said Wednesday, one day before the Warriors open their third straight NBA Finals series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I don’t care who you are.”
“Yeah, I agree with him,” said Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who can expect to be on the receiving end of Green’s verbal jabs when the two players match up against each other.
“He’s one of the best in the game at being a trash-talker,” Love continued. “He’s a guy, like I mentioned, that sets the tone for them. And this is the NBA Finals. I think that everybody expects that and hopes for that. It’s two — the best two teams in the league going at it. So it’s definitely fun to be a part of, and it’s just part of the game.”
Green was specifically asked about the impact of trash-talking after being asked about the task of neutralizing Love, who has had a fabulous postseason, averaging 17.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and shooting 47.5 percent from 3-point range.
Love was especially good in the Eastern Conference finals against Boston, averaging 22.6 points — a career-best in any playoff series — to go along with 12.4 rebounds.
The 6-foot-10 Love is on pace the first player in NBA playoff history to average at least 10 rebounds per game, shoot 45 percent from 3-point range and make 20 or more 3-pointers in a single postseason.
However, Green has the best defensive rating (94.3) of any player this postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
“I just try to use my speed to my advantage,” Green said of defending Love. “Try to take him out of spots where he’s comfortable. Make him do some things that maybe he don’t want to do. In saying that, he can still have great games. But just got to stay locked in, try to minimize him as much as possible. When he’s going, he makes their team a lot better, so it is my job to try to take him out of the game. It doesn’t always happen that way, it doesn’t, and it’s definitely not easy, but it’s possible.”