Could Draymond’s Suspension Cost the Warriors the Title?
By: Alex Marcheschi
I like to joke about how much I hate Draymond Green, I actually do dislike him quite a bit, but I don’t actually hate him enough to curb stomp him like I wrote yesterday. The Cavs were able to dismantle the Warriors at home last night because Draymond was suspended.
*Editor’s note: Notice how Draymond never looks LeBron in the eye
Last night LeBron was truly doing whatever he wanted against the Warriors without Draymond out there playing defense. I may be an irrational hater, but I do acknowledge that Green is an unbelievably good defender. He really messed up by losing his cool with LeBron. He knew that he was on thin ice thanks to league rules, as explained here, yet he continued to push the limits. As an instrumental player on a team going into a closeout game, you simply can’t risk getting suspended, especially when it entails messing with the best player in the league. Dray gets away with a lot, but going right at the King was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A lot of people, including me, thought that Green successfully got into LeBron’s head in the moment. Now though, I’m starting to think LeBron was baiting him, hoping that this exact scenario would play out. That might sound absurd, but LeBron is the most calculated NBA player ever. LeBron definitely chose to step over Green because he knew he could argue it was a real basketball play AND he knew it would rattle Draymond to his core. He orchestrated The Decision, he basically told Dan Gilbert what to do in order to get him to come back, forced Gilbert to pay the luxury tax and then fired the coach. LeBron can do whatever he wants, getting Draymond suspended included.
James came out playing harder than I’ve ever seen him play last night. He was untouchable, hitting threes, getting to the rim at will, swatting layups clean off the glass. Anything he wanted to do, he did it.
LeBron finished with 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes. Have yourself a day. Kyrie brought his own cooler to the party and chipped in another 41 of his own while putting the entire Warriors defense on skates at multiple points in the game.
My point is, Draymond may have really messed up here. If he was playing last night at home in a closeout game, I would’ve taken the Warriors nearly 100% of the time. Now, he let the Cavs steal one on his own court. Game six is in Cleveland and the Q will be bumping, if Cleveland can get a win there, everyone knows anything can happen in a game seven. We could be in for a legendary NBA run here. Cavs fans know that the team is way too emotional, they psyche themselves out so much, but that can go both ways. If they have pure confidence pumping through their bloodstreams, watch out. This quote I saw from Kyrie last night was really weird, but it’s true.
That’s a strange thing to say after a pivotal game five win on the road, but he’s right. The last thing the Warriors wanted to do was instill confidence in the Cavs, and that’s exactly what happened. Kyrie slow-roasted Steph over an open flame last night, and confident Kyrie is DANGEROUS. ESPN’s Zach Lowe pointed this out, as well:
Warriors center Andrew Bogut got injured last night and it appeared to be pretty serious. He was playing a substantial role for the Warriors in the Finals. I like to stay away from wishing bad things upon people, but if I could, just this one time, see one of my squads be on the other end of sports fate…it would be amazing. I wrote this back before the playoffs started and now I’m starting to think it might actually happen: