OAKLAND -- Call it foreshadowing or maybe just a little bit of gamesmanship, but Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder raved about Warriors forward Draymond Green before Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday evening. It’s doubtful that Green heard the comments. Or maybe he did.
In early December, Green received a text from his mother in pregame telling him that Snyder had made an off the cuff remark about his shooting before the Jazz and Warriors battled at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Green responded by hitting 4-of-6 from downtown while his Warriors pulled out a 106-99 victory.
Snyder carefully navigated his comments about Green in pregame on Thursday evening, heaping praise on the 27-year-old forward.
“As a coach, he’s the kind of player that you want to coach,” Snyder told a room full of reporters. “Part of the reason you want to coach him is because he has an edge. Not of that to me is ever personal. I admire him. You admire his competitiveness.”
Utah’s coach went as far as to compare Green to legendary point guard Magic Johnson because of his ability to do just about everything.
“His toughness and his tenacity and his ability is something that you respect and admire because he’s such a unique player,” Snyder added.
Green opened the series with a bang, roasting the Jazz for 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in Game 1. The versatility that Snyder raved about was on full display.
In Game 2, Green made sure to show Snyder his range one more time. He began the contest with a huge block on 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert and then drained a 3-ball on the other end. Green continued to bomb away, dropping in four straight triples in the opening frame before bricking a final attempt as the quarter came to a close.
When it was all said and done, Green hit 5-of-8 from long range on his way to 21 points. He added seven rebounds, six assists and picked up four steals as the Warriors took a 2-0 advantage in the series and 6-0 in the 2016-17 playoffs.
With 7:24 remaining in the fourth, Green went down holding his left knee. The training staff helped him to the bench, but he returned to the court to a huge ovation minutes later and helped finish off the 115-104 victory.