Draymond Green is well aware of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors presenting a very different challenge from what they've seen thus far in the West, but the Golden State Warriors' engine knows this newly focused version of the defending champions will challenge whoever comes out of the East:

“Both teams have great length. Both teams have really good defenders,” Green said, according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News. “They will create their challenges with whatever team we play. But I think we create some challenges for other teams as well. If we play our brand of basketball as I always say, I trust we’ll get the same results.”

The Warriors went 1-1 against the Bucks in the regular season and 0-2 against the Raptors. Green sat out all four regular-season meetings against these two teams, making that a huge difference at both ends of the court.

Furthermore, Green's playoff mode has shown a stark contrast from what he showed in the regular season, making him a much tougher foe to go against than what these teams would've expected:

“Draymond is a competitive guy. He loves those type of matchups. He’s the best defender in the league,” said Warriors forward Kevon Looney. “I feel way more comfortable with my defense when I got Draymond behind me. He takes our defense to another level. When we make mistakes, he usually covers it up.”

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Regardless of who comes out on top in the East, Golden State already has a vast rest advantage until May 30, the date Game 1 of the NBA Finals is slated to begin. The hope is that the nine-day layoff will allow for fresher legs while giving the Warriors enough time to bring back an injured Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and even an outside shot to re-activate DeMarcus Cousins after a costly quad injury.

Green knows how important this rest is:

“It’s great for us to get these nine days where we don’t even have to think about ‘I’m missing a game’ or ‘I need to try to get out there,’” said Green. “We have nine days to keep working. Hopefully we can get those guys back into the fold.”

The reinvigorated Warriors showed a true approach to their “Strength In Numbers” motto, borrowing a bit from Gregg Popovich's “next man up,” as multiple bench players have made major contributions in spite of these untimely absences.