Klay after Game 1: ‘We're not the Warriors' without Draymond

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Draymond Green isn’t new to this. 

On Saturday, the Warriors' outspoken leader played in the postseason for the eighth time in his 10-year career. 

After watching the playoffs from home the past two years, Green couldn’t wait for this moment. 

And it showed in the Warriors’ 123-107 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. 

Draymond finished with 12 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three blocks in Golden State’s statement win at Chase Center. 

Klay Thompson was alongside Draymond as the Warriors made five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and won three titles. He knows Draymond has played a significant piece of the Warriors dynasty over the last decade. 

“Draymond’s the best defender in the world,” Thompson told reporters after the game. “Draymond is the best defender I’ve ever played with and he’s really just a difference-maker out there. Without him, we’re not the Warriors.” 

While Dray and Klay have made their impacts in the playoffs, Jordan Poole made his playoff debut on Saturday. 

It wasn't hard to notice, given Poole dropped 30 points in his first career postseason game, but one thing Klay did notice was the difference of playing alongside Draymond in the regular season vs. Draymond in the playoffs. 

“You feel it,” Poole told reporters after the game. “He stepped it up a notch and him being our leader, we feed off of his energy. And seeing head honcho going out there be aggressive, knock down huge shots, make big plays, get huge stops against the MVP. We feed off of that and being able to have the force that he is out there, the way that he controls our offense helps us a lot.” 

RELATED: Draymond appreciates Kerr endorsing him for Hall of Fame

The Warriors need their leader to continue being playoff Draymond if they want to make their sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons. 

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