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Draymond Green: “They’re doing whatever it takes to win . . . and they’re slamming us”

The Defensive Player of the Year had a remarkably honest assessment for why the Rockets beat the Warriors in Games 3 and 4.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On more than one occasion this year, it’s felt like the Golden State Warriors simply didn’t try as hard as their opponent. It’s understandable - they’ve played more games than 28 other teams in each of the last four years, and are exhausted. They have more talent than any team in the league - perhaps any team that’s ever been in the league - and can coast to victories more often than not.

It’s still a little frustrating.

And while most players will deny being outworked or outhustled, Draymond Green is generally as honest as can be.

After the Warriors lost Games 3 and 4 to the Houston Rockets to allow James Harden’s crew back into the series, Green admitted that the Warriors opponent simply played harder, and more physically.

“I think it’s just a mindset,” Green said after Game 4. “We’re going into a fight and thinking it’s a fair fight, and it’s not. They’re doing whatever it takes to win - and not that they’re like, doing anything dirty or nothing like that - but they’re doing whatever it takes to win and we’re just kind of rolling in there like, ‘oh yeah, we’ll box.’ And they’re slamming us.

“So we gotta just change our mindset. And I think if we change our mindset then we’ll be just fine, but we haven’t these last two games. And the first two games, I think it was the complete opposite. I think we were taking it to them, and they weren’t really responding as far as the physicality went. And so that’s the difference in this series. That’s why it’s 2-2.”

It’s refreshing to hear such an honest assessment from a player. And it’s hard to disagree with anything the three-time All-Star said.