From the opening tip, Draymond Green set the tone for the Golden State Warriors' Game 2 win over the Boston Celtics with his physicality.
Green forced a jump ball on the opening possession by battling for the basketball with Al Horford. Shortly after that, the Warriors forward got into it with Grant Williams and engaged in some good old-fashioned trash-talk.
A scuffle with Jaylen Brown put the icing on the cake and judging by the Celtics' postgame reactions, they weren't prepared for the kind of impact Green's antics would have on the game. That'll need to change when the series continues Wednesday night, and head coach Ime Udoka let his team know that.
"I say be who you are," Udoka said about the C's addressing Green's trash-talk. "If you want to ignore it, ignore it. If you engage, engage. Do what you do. Be who you are."
Former Celtics guard Eddie House joined Early Edition to discuss how Boston should handle Green going forward, and he echoed Udoka's sentiments.
"That's perfect advice," House said. If that's not your makeup, don't fall into that because now you're out of your game and now he's winning on both fronts. He has you out your game, he has everyone else looking at what you are doing, and all of a sudden you are playing into his hands. But if you are about that life, if that is what you like to do, then I think you engage and I think you fight the fire with fire.
"Draymond said it best, you've got to meet force with force. That's all they've got to do. They've got to come out and play harder. They just didn't match the intensity or the physicality of the Golden State Warriors. And a lot of those turnovers were unforced, but again, just off the tip, there was a tone set by Draymond when he wrapped up when they got the jump ball with Al Horford, and you could understand that this was the type of game it was going to be."
For the Celtics to win Game 3 on their home court, House believes it will be imperative for them to match Golden State's physicality.
"Now you can't be surprised about how physical it's going to be, what the refs are gonna let go. I think you've got to go out there and just focus on what you do best," House said. "If you can engage and still be within yourself and do your job, that's fine. But if it takes you out of what you really need to be doing, remember the main thing is always the main thing, and that's doing your job in trying to help your team win. So if you start engaging with him, and it takes you out of that, then he won.
"But bullies don't like to get bullied, so if you stand up to the bully and punch the bully in the mouth, nine times out of 10 that bully is going the other way. Actually, 10 times out of 10 because I don't want to think Draymond is that one bully that can get punched and come back."
Game 3 of the NBA Finals is set for a 9 p.m. ET tip-off Wednesday at TD Garden. The series is currently tied 1-1.
Watch the full Early Edition segment with House below: