At ninth place in the West, the Warriors are in a crowded fight to qualify for a play-in game, but Draymond Green doesn’t take any motivation from trying to reach that pre-playoff contest, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. After winning three titles and playing in five straight NBA Finals, it’s hard for Green to get excited about such a modest goal.
“To be honest with you, I don’t go into these games thinking like, ‘Man, we need to win these games to get to the playoffs,’” Green said after Thursday’s loss at Miami. “I hate losing, so when I step on the floor I want to win. But I’ll be 100% honest with you, fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me. We’re in what, (ninth)? Fighting for a (play-in) spot doesn’t motivate me at all.”
The change in the playoff system was introduced as part of last year’s restart in Orlando. A play-in game was instituted between the eighth and ninth seeds if they were close in the standings. This year, the system has been expanded to include teams seven through 10 in each conference.
“I want to win,” Green explained. “That’s enough motivation for me, but I’m not going to spend every day like, ‘Man, we’re right on the cusp of that play-in’ — I don’t give a damn about that play-in game. If that’s where we are and we’re in the game, yeah, I’m going to do all I can to win the game. But, the play-in situation isn’t going to get me out of my bed like I got to bust my ass today because we’re fighting for the play-in spot. That ain’t going to push me.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Stephen Curry won’t play tonight against the Raptors, tweets Anthony Slater of the Athletic. Curry had been considering playing back-to-back games for the first time since suffering a tailbone bruise March 17, according to Friedell. Curry scored 36 points in 36 minutes Thursday in his second game since returning. “I gotta see how I feel when I wake up,” he said Thursday. “This is an injury where Monday to Tuesday it was a tough day-after-game feeling. I’m hopefully progressing where I wake up and feel good and know what I’m dealing with and be able to play, but we’ll monitor that.”
- Green may not be excited about the play-in game, but assistant coach Mike Brown believes any postseason experience will be valuable, according to Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It would be huge. The playoff atmosphere — not only in your preparation but the actual games — it’s at a whole other level,” Brown said in a radio interview. “For our guys to get a feel of it, a taste of it, would only benefit them for many years to come.”
- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra believes the Warriors miss Andre Iguodala as much as Klay Thompson, writes Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. Iguodala was an all-around contributor during Golden State’s best seasons, and now he’s playing that same role in Miami.