Draymond Green was terrific Thursday night against the Miami Heat, registering 16 points (7 of 13 from the field), 10 rebounds, eight assists (four turnovers) and four steals. But the Warriors lost, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference.
So, with 24 games left in the regular season, how does Draymond feel about his squad as they enter the home stretch?
"I don't go into these games thinking, 'Man, we need to win these games to get into the playoffs,' " Green told the media. "I hate f--king losing. So, when I step on the floor, I want to win. But I'll be 100 percent honest with you -- fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me. Fighting for a playoff spot doesn't motivate me at all.
"I want to win every game I play in because I hate losing. That s--t really bothers me. That's what motivates me, not fighting for some play-in spot. I don't really give a damn about the play-in spots to be honest with you. I want to win every time I step on the floor. That's what motivates me."
Here is how Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman reacted to these comments Friday morning on ESPN's "First Take":
Smith: "I want to completely and totally applaud what he said in terms of his attitude. This is a three-time champion [and] a man who went to five straight NBA Finals. When Draymond Green says stuff like that, that's the kind of language we want to hear."
Kellerman: "What I peel from what he's saying is simply, 'I'm a championship player. And more importantly, this is a championship franchise. We don't get excited if we don't think we can win a championship.' They're waiting for Klay [Thompson's] return."
Even though the Warriors likely won't win the NBA title this year, they definitely want to make the playoffs. And at this point, they almost assuredly must go through the play-in tournament to reach the postseason.
It will be much easier to advance to a best-of-seven playoff series if the Warriors enter the play-in as the No. 7 or No. 8 seed because they'd have two chances to win only one game. Leapfrogging the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs remains a very distinct possibility, but you can't completely expect that to happen, given how inconsistent the Warriors have been this season.