Draymond Green-LeBron James Suspension Controversy Leaves Both Teams Bitter Before NBA Finals Game 5

Draymond Green and LeBron James have teammates and fans taking sides on the flagrant foul suspension before Game 5 potentially brings everything to a close. Green’s inability to control his emotions and swallow his pride has left the Golden State Warriors without one of their top performers.

The Warriors are a team with no shortage of talent, so missing a player, even a very skilled one, may not affect their championship hopes. But if two of their top players aren’t at full capacity, it could become an issue, as Stephen Curry is rumored to be struggling with injuries.

Coach Steve Kerr explained how the Warriors will compensate to USA Today.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to still be effective at both ends without him. I don’t think we need to change things offensively. We’ll still play our game. We want to move the ball. We want to get up-and-down. So that doesn’t change. Obviously, we’ll miss his production, but other people can fill that void.”

The Cavs could potentially capitalize on Green’s one-game suspension if they take advantage of the missing defensive presence that has hounded their best players since this series began. Draymond Green works well with his teammates even as he becomes too much for opposing teams to control. As the Mercury News reported, he showed just how capable he is in the Finals during Game 2 when Curry sat out early with foul trouble.

Despite missing their leader, Green was key with 28 points in helping the Warriors to victory in the impressive win. Some speculated he would become the third member of the Splash Brothers.

The Warriors tacitly agree Green has an issue with his pride but are still supporting him in the altercation and showing their disapproval of the NBA Finals Game 5 suspension, an important and critical moment for the Warriors to get their second consecutive championship. Draymond Green’s suspension simply gives the game an unknown factor and gives the Cavs a lucky chance to run away with a win.

The Warriors think LeBron set Draymond up by stepping over him, knowing he would lash out and the Cavs would walk away with the advantage. Green was just one more flagrant foul away from the suspension after kicking Oklahoma City center Steven Adams between the legs in Game 3 of that series, and that was only the time he got caught for doing it. He also kicked Kyrie Irving with no call in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Despite being one flagrant away from a suspension on that kick, Green’s comments via USA Today seem to indicate he isn’t concerned.

“But basketball is basketball, and bodies react a certain type of way. I don’t really mind any scrutiny. It doesn’t bother me. I’m going to still live my life and do everything I do the same way and not lose any sleep. So life goes on.”

Either opponents will live in fear of the stinging fists and feet of Draymond Green — LeBron James has proven to NBA management that Green is intentionally trying to hurt people — or the NBA needs to change the way they look at flagrant fouls. Players like Green won’t mind a suspension every now and then as long as they can get in a few unnoticed hits here and there.

The Cavs’ season might end tonight, and the Warriors can not only get the best of LeBron but even prove they don’t need Green to win. His role as a fire starter has aided the Warriors plenty in the playoffs and Finals, even if a few opponents had to get roughed up in the process. Warriors coach Steve Kerr isn’t worried, he’s looking forward to that Game 5 win. Draymond Green was reportedly also not moved by the suspension. After Game 4, he was seen looking quite normal in his usual practice routine. The Draymond Green-LeBron James suspension decision will prove more important the more it affects this Game 5 outcome.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]