A full day after Draymond Green’s latest antics and the NBA finally came to a conclusion. The initial call of a flagrant one foul was upgraded to a flagrant two late this afternoon, and a $25,000 fine was assessed to the Warriors’ star forward. Some media members and most Oklahoma City Thunder fans thought this should’ve been a one-game suspension, purely because this was Green’s second game in a row where he gave Thunder center Steven Adams’ private area a piece of his mind.
Russell Westbrook wasn’t too happy with the play either, saying “I don’t think you can keep kicking someone in their private areas,” during yesterday’s press conference following the Game 3 win.
Russell Westbrook on Draymond’s kick.
“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said in a statement.
“During a game, players – at times – flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul, but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”
With all that being said, Golden State should be happy Green wasn’t suspended for a game, but now he’s on thin ice. One more flagrant foul and he will indeed be suspended for one game. In the midst of being relieved, the Warriors should be a little bit concerned. This throws their gameplan off. Draymond is a physical, and emotional player that gets flagrant, and technical fouls called on him a lot. That’s just a part of his game.
How can this help OKC and adversely affect Golden State?
This gives Oklahoma City more of an advantage in the post. An advantage they’ve had in two of three games in the series thus far. Green was Golden State’s only chance when it came to ‘containing’ Steven Adams, Enes Kanter and Serge Ibaka in the post. With him presumably coming into Game 4 with a less physical approach, this may just open the door for the Thunder frontcourt to be even more dominant. With a win, they could go up 3-1 and put the Warriors in a very crucial situation back at home for Game 5.
As if Oklahoma City’s big men weren’t already dominating the Warriors when it came to rebounding the ball, averaging 46.6 rebounds versus Golden State’s 42.3 rebounds per game in the three games this series.
The point is, Golden State won’t be the same team without an aggressive Draymond Green. We all saw that Monday night after the situation that sparked this controversy happened. Draymond was effectively taken out of his game and finished with just six points on 1-9 shooting, along with four rebounds and four turnovers.
He will play in Game 4, but he might as well not. He’s not going to be able to play Draymond basketball, and he’s Golden State’s last hope for any kind of significant post production if you ask me.