The NBA has suspended Draymond Green for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals after reviewing his skirmish with LeBron James in the last game. Before Sunday, there were NBA rumors that the league will be taking a look at the Green vs. James altercation and that it will lead to Green’s suspension.
Early Sunday, the league announced its decision to upgrade Green’s foul to a flagrant foul 1 which means he is automatically suspended for Game 5 because of his previous flagrant fouls earlier in the season.
LeBron also campaigned for the league to take a look at the play and was hoping that Green gets suspended for his actions. The Cavs star did not directly say it but it was clear that he wanted help from the league and knew that if Green’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant then the Warriors forward, who is the leading NBA Finals MVP candidate so far this series, will miss Game 5.
“There’s always options, but this – really when you looked at it – was certainly unnecessary. (He) made contact to the groin in a retaliatory fashion for the stepover. So I think this met all the criteria on a Flagrant One. And although we looked at all options, this was the one, I think, that was the right one,” Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, said via USA Today Sports.
This will fuel the NBA rumors that LeBron James has some influence on the league’s decision-making and that the league may want the 2016 NBA Finals extended. If LeBron and the Cavs win in Game 5, the series returns to Cleveland, where they are 8-1 this postseason, and Game 7 is back in Golden State.
Without Green, who has averaged 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in the series vs. the Cavs, the Warriors will need other players like Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Marreese Speights to step up both offensively and defensively.
The Warriors can win the title in Game 5 and avoid going back to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals. With NBA rumors of LeBron James’ influence in the league, winning the title on Monday will be much sweeter for the defending champions.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons