Fans can watch the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers live online and see if the Warriors can close out the NBA Finals for back-to-back wins over LeBron James and the Cavs.
After struggling through the Western Conference Finals, in which they had to dig out of a three games to one hole, the Warriors have again found their stride in the finals against James. But Game 5 could be a struggle, as the Warriors will be without Draymond Green, who was suspended for his altercation with James in the previous contest.
The teams will meet on Monday at the Oracle Arena, with start time scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. With a 3-1 series lead, the Warriors will have a chance to close out the series and win their second consecutive NBA title, while the Cavaliers are hoping to get a win and a return trip to Cleveland for Game 6.
An already tense series took an even more contentious turn in Game 4, when LeBron James scuffled with Draymond Green after stepping over the Warriors forward. Green swung his arm into James and appeared to make contact with his groin area, leading to a showdown between the two players.
The NBA assessed Green with a flagrant 1 foul, his fourth flagrant of the postseason, which triggers an automatic suspension. He had reportedly been on warning from the NBA after kicking Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin last round and throwing Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley to the ground in the opening round.
“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game,” NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe said in a statement (via ESPN). “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”
After the game, James was also assessed a technical foul, but said he didn’t intend to taunt Green.
“I was just trying to get back into the play. I think what had happened [with Green] was intentional,” James said. “I knew we got into a grapple at the top of the key, but me just trying to get back into the play.”
NBA VP Kiki Vandeweghe says Draymond Green had been put on notice about groin hits https://t.co/vFfM0n3Wdf— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) June 13, 2016
LeBron James has also been issued a technical foul for physically taunting Green by stepping over him on the court. https://t.co/CGJEu5iEfL— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 12, 2016
But fans who watch the NBA Finals Game 5 live online will see a Golden State Warriors team determined to fight through the adversity and put a cap on their record-breaking season. Guard Klay Thompson said the team has a renewed sense of fight and wants to win the game for Draymond Green, who may not even be in the arena. Per NBA rules, suspended players are not allowed to be in attendance for the game, but the Warriors are reportedly working out an arrangement so that he can celebrate with teammates after the game if his team is able to close out the series.
But as ESPN noted, the absence of Green could also give the Cleveland Cavaliers a new slew of options to attack the Warriors offensively.
Much depends on how the Cavaliers choose to prey on his absence: by going big with the likes of Kevin Love or even Timofey Mozgov, or by trying to lure the Warriors into a diminished smaller lineup by extending the minutes of Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. It also could be an opportunity for LeBron to break through now that he doesn’t have to worry about one of the Warriors’ most effective defenders.
Fans who want to watch the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 can click here for streaming video through WatchESPN.
[Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images]