UA-59049186-1 How The Draymond Green Suspension Impacts Game 5 - Good if it Goes

How The Draymond Green Suspension Impacts Game 5

Draymond suspend

Game 4 of the NBA Finals got a little physical and heated between LeBron James and Draymond Green. After a scuffle led to James throwing Green to the ground, he proceeded to step clean over Green as if he was Allen Iverson and Green was Tyronn Lue. After being disrespected on that level on such a public stage, Green was clearly furious and felt obligated to retaliate right away.

Now I do not have a major issue with Green having a problem with what James did. I have a huge problem with the fact that he did retaliate and an even bigger problem with how he went about doing it. First, I’ll touch on the problem with him retaliating at all. Draymond Green came into these finals just 1 flagrant foul away from getting a suspension. Not only that, but after his last incident involving Adams in the Western Conference Finals, Green was given a stern warning by the league office that he was on thin ice. Despite all of that, Green lost his composure and hurt himself and his team by swinging at and hitting James and then swinging again looking to land another shot. He had to know that he had to be on his best behavior. As disrespected and upset as he was, he has to realize that its the Finals. If he felt that upset about it, Green could have always pulled a Carmelo Anthony and waited for James after the game.

My second issue with Green was the fact he took the dirty way out and delivered a cheap low blow to James while his back was turned. He didn’t even land a good enough blow to stop James in his tracks. If you’re gonna be an idiot to retaliate and get suspended, why not go out in a blaze of glory and steal off James with a punch to the face? It’s over now and the league has made it’s decision. Green will be suspended for Game 5. So what now? How will Green’s absence impact tonight’s game?

The Cavs chances of winning Game 5 just got tremendously better with this news. I believe Green has a psychological advantage over Kevin Love and for whatever reason causes Love to come up small. With Green gone, I expect Love to play a lot more free and loose and have his best game of these finals. As for how it impacts what the Warriors want to do, there are many aspects to look at. Number 1, no death lineup. Dating back to last year’s finals, Golden State’s “death lineup” gave the Cavs hell and the ability to play Green at the 5 in that lineup is what really gives the Warriors such an advantage. With Green out of the lineup, the Warriors most likely will be forced to play with a true big at all times unless Kerr wants to further experiment with James Michael Mcadoo (please Kerr, leave him on the damn bench where he belongs). That means more minutes for Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Mo Speights, all of whom have been inconsistent. We know that Kerr likes to experiment so if none of those three bigs are getting it done for Kerr, it wouldn’t shock me to see him attempt to run a different version of the death lineup featuring Livingston in for Green.

Offensively, the loss of Green ultimately means we see more of Stephen Curry actually playing PG instead of running around off ball screens like he’s J.J. Reddick or something. That’s bad news for the Cavs. The Warriors have been letting Cleveland off the hook by letting Curry play off the ball so much. Curry actually has excellent vision and is one of the game’s best passers. Although he’s the greatest shooter ever, the Warriors can’t forget about Curry’s elite skills as a true PG. With Green out of the lineup, they are forced to have Curry in that role more and we could see them play even better offensively than they did in Game 3 and 4.

Overall, it’s never a positive to lose such a great defender and versatile player like Green. No doubt he’ll be missed. At the end of the day, I believe in Curry more than I do Lebron James and that’s what this ultimately comes down to for me. I picked the Warriors to win the NBA Finals in 5 before this series started (hell before the playoffs started) and I’m not backing down now. Even without Green, Golden State will find a way to get it done behind a superb performance from Curry that helps land him his second NBA title and a finals MVP.

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