The Warriors were able to extend the series and force a Game 7 last night, but it came at a cost. Backup center Jermaine O’Neal was hurt in the second quarter of Game 6 and did not return. O’Neal had an MRI today and his status remains uncertain for Game 7. The team revealed that O’Neal has a sprained knee, but O’Neal is sure he will see the floor on Saturday.
The Warriors were already thin at center with the absence of Andrew Bogut and no one believed the Warriors would beat the Clippers without their star big man. However, O’Neal has done a decent job filling in for the Bogut in this series and the Warriors’ chances to win Game 7 worsen if he is not able to lace them up.
The way the injury occurred has come into question. Jermaine O’Neal had secured the rebound on the defensive end and Glen Davis went in for the strip but did so in a violent manner. Davis’ right shoulder collided with O’Neal’s knee and hit the floor in agonizing pain. Some consider Davis’ actions to be dirty and O’Neal himself believes Davis had ulterior motives:
Either he has terrible balance as a pro athlete or that was a dirty play. God don’t like ugly.
O’Neal feels the play was unnecessary and could have easily been prevented. Other Warriors feel the same way, including fellow big man Marreese Speights, who believes that there is no question the play was dirty. Given the circumstances, O’Neal has handled the situation fairly well and is optimistic that he will play on Saturday. Check out the replay below and you be the judge. Was it a dirty play?