Ime Udoka, the Boston Celtics’ coach, has advised his players to fight fire with fire as they prepare for the Golden State Warriors’ physical battle in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Warriors outmuscled the Celtics in game two, tying the series at one game apiece, with Golden State enforcer Draymond Green directing a stellar defensive effort that shut down Boston’s shooting threat. Throughout the game, Green was a thorn in the side of the Celtics’ lineup, battling with them both physically and verbally. Udoka said he hasn’t given his players any specific instructions on how to deal with Green, other than to “be yourself.” On Tuesday, Udoka added, “If you want to ignore it, ignore it.” “If you’re going to engage, engage.”
“But that’s not everybody,” Udoka said. “Do what you do. Block it out or meet physicality with physicality.”Udoka is also only too aware of Green’s importance to the Warriors as a rallying point when the team needs lifting.
The main thing is to continue to stay composed. With us, I don’t think it’s the talking as much as the physicality that they brought … We know obviously that’s what Green does. Kind of bleeds over into the team.”Udoka said he if he had been suiting up in this year’s finals as a player “I would probably get a double technical immediately”.
“When their team is struggling, he sets the tone for them. That’s one of the ways he does it. But we embrace that,” Udoka said. One of the best defensive teams, we like to impose our will, as well. I have to meet that with the same thing.”
Brown said Tuesday he planned to ignore any needling by Green in game three.We ain’t got time for that. Just come out and play basketball, let everything else take care of itself,” Brown said.
Celtics ace Jaylen Brown was involved in a flashpoint with Green in game two after being fouled by the Warriors star on a three-point attempt. The two ended up in a shoving match after tangling on the floor, and Brown later accused Green of trying to yank his shorts down.
“I’m going to come out, do my job. We’re here to play basketball, so don’t get caught up in all the antics and stuff like that.” Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said he had no plans to ask Green to temper his physical approach.
“No, just let him be him,” Kerr said. “He’s at his best when he’s passionate and emotional.”I thought he played a great game the other night. The play is always going to be physical in the playoffs. Being physical is part of it.”The main thing is you have to leave the officials alone, and Draymond did a good job of that.”
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