Blazers' CJ McCollum describes what separates Warriors from everybody

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

Blazers' CJ McCollum describes what separates Warriors from everybody originally appeared on

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.

The Dubs also ended Portland's season in 2016 and 2017.

Blazers guard CJ McCollum clearly knows what it's like to face the team that will be playing in its fifth straight NBA Finals.

"The biggest difference you see with the Warriors compared to everybody else is how aligned they are," McCollum said on his podcast, Pull Up. "Obviously, they've had some issues off the court this season. But once they step on that court, the communication is there. The understanding of where everyone is supposed to be is there consistently.

"You don't ever really see them have crazy lapses. Offensively, constant movement off the ball and everyone is always looking to get Steph open; always looking to screen for Klay. And when they're open, the ball is delivered on time and on target consistently."

Steph Curry's numbers were incredible in the sweep: 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 47 percent shooting from the field, 42.6 percent from deep.

Klay Thompson averaged 21.5 points, but shot below 38 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Fortunately for the Warriors, they also have that Draymond Green guy. The three-time NBA All-Star averaged 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals, while shooting over 54 percent.

That's just nuts.

"What makes them so good is Draymond's ability to make decisions in the pick-and-roll," McCollum said. "He did a great job of pushing the tempo and pushing the pace off makes and misses. He initiated the offense and historically has made the right decision on when to finish around the basket, when to kick it out for a 3 or throw the lob.

"Steph is Steph and Klay is Klay, and KD and the rest of those players. But he's a very unique asset. His defensive presence -- being able to guard five guys. He can guard pick-and-rolls, he can guard in the post. He's the ultimate help defender.

"I think he makes their team go."

[RELATEDDraymond calls no LeBron in playoffs 'kind of a mindf--k']

There's a reason head coach Steve Kerr has been calling Draymond the "heartbeat" of the Warriors for years.

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