To begin the game, the Warriors made an adjustment by placing Green as Brown’s defender for the night, and the three-time NBA champion got straight to work. Green was physical, aggressive, and at times, a little close to the mark, as he looked to get inside the Celtics stars head.
With under a minute remaining in the second quarter of the contest, Green and Brown got entangled on the floor, with the Warriors defender’s legs landing on Brown’s head, and some shoving occurring as they returned to their feet. Neither player received a technical foul for the incident.
During his post-game press conference, Brown addressed the situation, noting that he expected nothing less from Green, as that’s ‘who he is’ as a player.
“No, not really. I’m just trying to play basketball. I feel like that was an illegal play. I feel like they could have called it, but they let it go in terms of a technical either way. But I don’t know what I was supposed to do there. Somebody got their legs on the top of your head and then he tried to pull my pants down. I don’t know what that was about.
That’s what Draymond Green does. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’ll pull you, he’ll grab you, he’ll try to muck the game up because that’s what he does for their team. It’s nothing to be surprised about. Nothing I’m surprised about. He raised his physicality to try to stop us and we’ve got to raise ours. Looking forward to the challenge,” Brown told reporters.
Al Horford Speaks on Draymond’s Physicality
Overall, the Celtics struggled to match their usual level of production and looked a shadow of the team that snatched a victory in game one on June 4. Al Horford was also uncharacteristically quiet on both sides of the floor and ended the game with two points on one-of-four shooting, although he did pull down eight rebounds.
While Green didn’t spend much time guarding Horford, the Celtics veteran center did see the impact the Warriors forward was having on the game, especially in terms of rattling his opponents with physicality and trash talk.
Speaking to the media on June 5, Horford noted that Boston knew Draymond would up the physicality in game two and that his mind-games had no effect on the team’s performance.
“Nah, no impact…I mean, he’s going to do what he does. We’re not worried about him. We’re going to do what we do, focus on us. We just didn’t get it done tonight. We’ll be better at home Game 3,” Horford told reporters when asked about Green.
Celtics Heading Back to Boston
Ime Udoka and his team now head back to Boston for games three and four of the NBA Finals, and despite their June 5 loss, will be happy with splitting the opening two games in San Francisco.
Now, the Warriors will be hoping to return the favor and win a game on the Celtics’ home floor of the TD Garden. However, the Celtics crowd is known for its noise and hostility, so Steve Kerr and Co. will be walking into a difficult situation.
Regardless of who wins game three, Boston will need to rectify their poor level of play, because the Warriors are relentless on both ends of the floor, and will continually probe weak spots until they’re resolved by the coaching staff. However, the Celtics have been better on the road than they have at home during the post-season, winning eight of their ten road games compared to four of their seven contests at home.
“Just playing with a sense of urgency, I think. Human nature plays a part when you go on the road. Obviously, it’s a tough environment. I feel like recently we’ve kind of relaxed at home. Whether we thought because we had home-court advantage, we came out a little more relaxed. Just having that sense of urgency, knowing that we’re at home, but that we need to play better at home,” Jayson Tatum told reporters when asked about his team’s struggles in front of their own fans.
The Celtics and Warriors will be back in action on Wednesday, June 8 for game three of the NBA Finals.