Tom Izzo knew Draymond Green would step up after Kevin Durant injury

Tom Izzo knew Draymond Green would step up after Kevin Durant injury

Draymond Green has been playing at another level during the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors forward willed his team to win Saturday night in Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Green notched a triple-double, scoring  20 points, pulling down 13 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists to lead Golden State to a 110-99 win and a three-games-to-none series advantage.

Since Kevin Durant went out with a right calf strain in Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff series with the Houston Rockets, Green has taken his game to another level. 

His college head coach, Tom Izzo, was not surprised Green took off when Durant was sidelined.

The Michigan State coaching legend apparently sent a text to FOX Sports 1's Cris Carter and told him his former star would thrive when the Warriors needed him most.

Izzo certainly hasn't been wrong.

In the four full games since Durant was injured, Green is averaging 14 points, 10.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists while shooting 54.7 percent from the field.

[RELATED: New, focused Draymond has put stamp on West finals vs. Blazers]

Durant will not return until the NBA Finals (should the Warriors win one of the next four games against the Blazers). But if Green is playing at this level when KD suits back up, you might as well give the Warriors their third straight title.

Chris Paul refutes multiple reports he demanded Rockets trade him


Chris Paul refutes multiple reports he demanded Rockets trade him

The rumors started eight days ago. All-Star point guard Chris Paul "wants out" of Houston, Stephen A. Smith reported.

Since then, there have multiple reports of chaos within the Rockets organization, one that even stated Paul's relationship with NBA MVP James Harden is 'unsalvageable.'

But on Sunday, Paul tried to put all those rumors to bed.

“I never asked for a trade,” Paul told The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen. “I never demanded a trade.”

Trading Paul would be difficult for Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Paul still is owed more than $124 million over the next three seasons, and finding a team that can take on that kind of salary for an aging point guard would be tough.

As for the reported rift with Harden, Paul claimed he's not unhappy in his current situtation.

“I’ll be in Houston,” Paul told Feigen. “I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”

[RELATED; Morey shoots down CP3 trade request rumor]

The Rockets gave the Warriors a good battle in each of the last two postseasons. With Golden State nursing its wounds during the 2019-20 season, this might be Houston's chance to pounce and get to the NBA Finals.

We'll find out over the next few weeks if Paul is telling the truth or if the whispers of his unhappiness actually were true.

NBA rumors: Kawhi Leonard 'seriously considering re-signing' with Raptors


NBA rumors: Kawhi Leonard 'seriously considering re-signing' with Raptors

The Kawhi Leonard-Toronto Raptors marriage might not be a one-year fling after all.

Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported Sunday that the 2019 NBA Finals MVP will decline his $21.3 million player option for the 2019-20 season, but that Leonard is "seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors."

Most experts have been predicting that Leonard will bolt Toronto for one of the Los Angeles teams. But Haynes' reporting changes things a bit.

Haynes also reported that rival front-office executives view the Raptors as the favorites to land Leonard.

The Raptors can offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract, according to Haynes.

[RELATED: Curry vows to not let Warriors' run end]

While the Warriors likely aren't in the mood for any Kawhi-related news, considering he just ended their bid for a three-peat, they have to be excited at the thought of Leonard not joining the Pacific Division.

Leonard put on a dominating performance against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, as he averaged 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds over the six games.