“LeBron James knew what we were doing but we knew he was doing too”: Draymond Green dishes on the intricate mental chess-match the Warriors played against ‘The King’
|Mon Jan 31 2022
Draymond Green talks about whether or not LeBron James knew what plays they were running and if they knew what he was running.
LeBron James is undoubtedly one of the smartest players to have ever graced NBA hardwood. In this same interview, with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter, Draymond Green James along with Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo as being the smartest players he’s ever faced in the league.
A moment where the opposing team found out just how intelligent LeBron James was in real time was the time he faced the Toronto Raptors in the Playoffs. In an interview, DeMar DeRozan revealed that James would blurt out the exact actions the Raps were going to run at a certain time, leaving them flabbergasted.
The 2018 version of the Toronto Raptors was arguably their most powerful iteration of the 2010s and James picked their defenses apart in 4 straight games, sweeping them in the ECSF.
The Golden State Warriors were of course, more talented than the Raptors at the time and so the 4x MVP couldn’t produce the same results.
Draymond Green on LeBron James and him knowing their plays.
Having faced off against the Golden State Warriors for years on end, deep into the postseason, it’s expected that someone of James’s caliber would be in tune with how they operate. The usual split actions, lobs of the short roll, high pick and rolls, amongst other actions would simply not work against a competent LeBron James team.
Also read: “How did Cade Cunningham end up with a 19-point triple-double after going scoreless in the first half?!”: NBA Twitter reacts as the youngster becomes the first rookie to record multiple triple-doubles in franchise history
While talking about their many battles with Bron, Draymond Green dished on whether or not James predicted the plays they ran as well.
“100% he knew what we were doing. The difference [between the Warriors and Raptors] is, we knew what they were gonna do. I’m not sure of DeMar and the Raptors what LeBron was going to do. When we go up against each other, there’s no surprises. They weren’t going to do anything that we didn’t expect them to do.”
When a game like this is being played, it ultimately comes down to the nuances of the game. Who’s tougher on the glass, who’s diving to the floor for loose, which team has more stamina, and everything on those lines.