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Draymond Green respects Kyrie Irving saying Celtics can beat Warriors

Aaron Halford
September 28, 2018 - 11:40 am

Despite adding All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins this offseason, the Golden State Warriors aren't taking their next championship for granted, and it sounds like they're expecting the Celtics to be their biggest challengers.

Earlier this week, Klay Thompson called Boston "a team to reckon with." Now Draymond Green, who is no stranger to trash talk, is building up the Celtics -- and specifically Kyrie Irving -- as well.

In an interview Thursday with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Green issued high praise for Irving, who earlier in the week said that the Celtics are capable of dethroning the Warriors.

“I think he should believe that,” Green said. “He didn’t say they will beat us, he said they can beat us. As the leader of that team, he should say that and I think he should relay that message to his guys.”

Irving’s game-winning shot against the Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is still widely regarded as one of the most clutch shots in Finals history. To add insult to injury, Irving hit a fadeaway over Klay Thompson to down the Warriors on Christmas Day the next season after the team added Kevin Durant. 

In spite of all of the Warriors’ success, the team still hasn’t had an answer for Irving. And this season, it’s possible that the Celtics — behind coach Brad Stevens, a star-studded group of young players, and one of the deepest benches in all of basketball — will give the Warriors even more to fear this year than when Irving was in Cleveland. 

“I respect him saying that and obviously Kyrie is a guy who’s proven he can win a championship, and proven he’s going to step up in the big moments,” Green said.

After defeating the Cavaliers relatively easily in the past two NBA Finals, this season the Warriors are looking at a formidable threat that can match up with them defensively in the Boston Celtics. With a strong combination of veteran leadership, good coaching, and young talent, Boston is in an ideal position to upset the team many consider to be the greatest in NBA history.