Warriors

Warriors' Draymond Green makes bold prediction about Chase Center

Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO - High above Mission Bay, adjacent to the soon-to-be-christened Chase Center, Draymond Green is holding court in a semi-full conference room. 

Wrapping up the Warriors' 'Reveal Week' for the arena, Green announces Golden State's first preseason game in the new arena is Oct. 5 against the Lakers.

But not without making a declaration about the current season first. 

"We're thrilled about the opportunity," Green said Friday. "We're thrilled about finishing off Oakland right, we're coming into Chase Center as champions and then being champions again when we get to Chase Center."

Soon after, Green ditched his Off White Nike Blazers for construction boots, adding a reflective construction vest and glasses. For the next hour, he weaved through the unfinished structure, seeing the grand circular locker room, soon-to-be barbershop and what will be a practice facility.

The privately financed arena, slated to open in September, is expected to hold concerts, sporting events and, if Warriors COO Rick Welts has his wish, political conventions. But the Warriors also sought out players, coaches and even trainers' input to improve the locker rooms and training areas in the new building. 

"It's truly special the way this organization treats us as players," Green said. "There's no surprise that most NBA players are close nowadays. The common theme, even when guys come here, guys tell me, 'hey Draymond, you haven't experienced the real NBA. You don't know what it's like to be in another organization.' So from that standpoint, I am blessed because I've been taken care of, like my teammates, like no other."

 

During a team dinner the night before training camp, Warriors coach Steve Kerr stressed the Warriors play with purpose during their last season at Oracle Arena, with the goal to bring another championship to Oakland. In recent weeks, the champs have fallen short of that initial goal, going just 3-3 at home since the All-Star break. 

"We focus on the big picture a lot," Green said. "Steve, especially within the last two weeks, every day has been stressed 'this is it for Oakland, this is it for Oakland. We have to do it for Oakland. Everybody is excited about the move. The thing that people don't understand is moving from Oakland to San Francisco, that's a new life. If you move from Oakland to San Francisco, you switch your doctor ... you switch your dentist. It's a completely different life." 

Over the past two weeks, the Warriors have improved. Following a 4-5 stretch, which included a loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns, the Warriors have found their stride. They have won four of their last five games, all while in pursuit of the Western Conference's top seed.

"You can definitely feel that there's a different level of focus that you see from everyone," Green said. "It's not that there's one player or one guy over here or one guy over there, it's everyone. The coaching staff has a completely different focus than they had two weeks ago and it's on all of us. It's been really exciting playing with each other over the last week and a half. Just seeing what we're capable of and what's more exciting is that the defense has been incredible." 

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Despite averaging more than 110 points and 30 assists over their last five games, including a season-high 39 assists in Thursday night's win over the Indiana Pacers, Green believes the team has another level to reach. 

"The offense has been horrible," Green said. "You're talking 32 assists, 39 assists and it hasn't been good. Coach Kerr and Mike Brown have been preaching 'pace, pace' - so you literally seeing guys flying around like 'pace, pace' and it's horrible. We haven't figured out the timing yet, so I'm excited about that because to play the way we've been playing over the last week-and-a-half and still figuring it out, that's going to be a sight to see."