Kawhi Leonard: Raptors ace Danny Green sends NBA Finals warning to Warriors and Lakers

That is the declaration of Green himself.

The Raptors own the best record in the NBA having gone 21-5 to dominate the Eastern Conference.

And Leonard – who was traded to Toronto from the San Antonio Spurs alongside Green in the offseason – has been a major reason for their success.

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year supplied 36 points including five-of-six from three-point shooting, nine rebounds and five steals as the Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 113-102 last night.

And while there are still three quarters of the season remaining, Green believes Toronto are capable of making a first ever Finals despite having never previously progressed past the Conference Finals.

That would likely see them face the Golden State Warriors, though LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will hope to have something to say about that, while the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers are also close.

Green told First Take on ESPN: “We know that we have a lot of potential. We have a lot of great pieces and young players on this team – the task and the challenge is getting those guys ready for when that times comes around. 

“We can’t just look ahead, skip any steps and think: ‘We’re going to absolutely make it into June.’ We have a lot of good teams in the East here as well. 

“We’ve got to continue to fight and mature and beat the Phillies of the East, the Bostons of the East, the Indianas, the Milwaukees who are playing extremely well. 

“And then hopefully if we do make it out, be prepared to play against that beast in the West. 

“I think if we continue to progress, communicate and get these young guys mature enough we’re more than capable enough to do it.”

On how much he has enjoyed playing in Toronto alongside Leonard, who he also had as a team-mate on the Spurs for seven years, Green added: “He’s been a great aspect for both of us but especially for me. 

“That guy makes the game easier for everybody, draws double teams and finds me. It helps when you have a comfortability with somebody, playing with them for so many years. 

“On the offensive side of the floor, knowing where he’s going to be, he knows where I’m going to be. 

“Defensively, so many years together we try to take pride in being the best defensive wings in the game. 

“We’re trying to carry that over here. We’re not as young as we used to be but we still feel we can hold that end of the floor and be the best defensive wings in the Eastern Conference if not the NBA. 

“That will help us win games more so than the offense.”

After seeing off the 76ers, the Raptors face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday (12.30am UK time/Friday 7.30pm EST).

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