Its no secret to any Golden State Warriors fan that game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers probably would have gone down differently had forward Draymond Green been playing. What was a tie game at halftime quickly became one-sided as the Warriors 3’s stopped falling and the Cavs physical play soon became too much to handle.
LeBron James put in one of the most impressive games of his career, torching the Dubs for 41 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting above 50 percent from the field as well as from three.
so all it takes for CLE to win at GSW is for kyrie & lebron to go atomic and steph & klay to be mediocre & draymond green to be suspended
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) June 14, 2016
While sometimes you cant account for great players going above and beyond, had Green been there, you’d be hard pressed to think that things may have gone differently. Speaking to the media after game 5, Green was clearly very effected by what he witnessed Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 15, 2016
While conspiracy theorists will claim that the NBA suspended Green to extend the series and continue to get ratings, whatever the cause, the impact of Green’s absence can not be overstated. He has only missed two games all season, and rather unsurprisingly, the Warriors lost both.
Warriors fall to 0-2 on season without Draymond Green. pic.twitter.com/hGN3sPZydr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 14, 2016
The headlines have still been dominated by reactions to the Green suspension and whether or not it should have been handed down at all. It started after game 4 when news came out that what caused LeBron to go at Green so hard was the former Michigan State Spartan calling James a “b*tch.” Questions popped up around the league about whether such a response was necessary from something that seems to be rather common fare.
— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) June 12, 2016
Klay Thompson on LeBron James: I guess he just got his feelings hurt.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 12, 2016
When asked about Thompson’s comments, James seemed amused and instead of further escalating the situation, instead decided to go down the “no comment” route.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 12, 2016
This prompted Stephen Curry’s wife, Ayesha, as well as Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal to comment on the situation as well.
High Road. invisible bridge used to step over said person when open floor is available left to right.
— Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) June 12, 2016
Mychal Thompson: "LeBron (James) couldn't have survived in the 80s with the physicality and the words guys said to each other back then."
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) June 13, 2016
From a piece written for The Undefeated, Marc J. Spears offered up the following assessment of the situation, “The first unwritten rule in trash-talking is that whatever happens on the court stays there.” This appears to the general sentiment from around the league, that sometimes regrettable things get said on the court in the heat of the moment and thats just how the game goes.
All eyes will be on the matchup between Green and James in game 6 to see how much tension is left over from game 4 and whether or not we will see another incident.
Now LeBron, back in his house, gets to go nose-to-nose with the Draymond Green who called him a "b" to his face. Whatchoogonnado, King?
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 14, 2016
The question now becomes, what effect will this have on game 6? Green clearly believes that he would have caused quite the impact on game 5, so you’d have to think that this applies to game 6 as well.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 15, 2016
The stats back up Green’s thoughts as the Warriors have been substantially better with Green on the court than off.
GSW in Finals: With Draymond at C: 81 minutes, +53. All other lineups: 111 minutes, -24.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 11, 2016
The Warriors have outscored the Cavaliers by 13.6 points per 100 possessions while Draymond Green has been on the court. Conversely, they are being outscored by 9.6 points when Green is out. The Dubs offense efficiency also falls off a cliff when Green is not on the floor. All this to say, Green is major cog for the Warriors on offense, not mention his energy and defensive impact. This would led to you believe that Green playing in game 6 can do nothing but help the team that at times looked lost without him on the court.
The Q in Cleveland is sure to be rocking, but we all know what happened the last time the Warriors played a game 6 in Cleveland.
Game 6 takes place Thursday night at 6 PM PT.