It’s incredible how much the intensity of the NBA ratchets up in the playoffs. After all, teams need to win 16 more games to win a coveted championship, so there’s no use in leaving anything on the table. Thus, it’s no surprise to see how much physicality there has been during the Golden State Warriors’ exciting first-round matchup in the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Sacramento Kings, especially between Draymond Green and Domantas Sabonis.
With seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 114-106 Game 2 win, Green, in the aftermath of Sabonis grabbing his leg, appeared to stomp on the Kings center’s chest. Sabonis then writhed in pain on the ground, especially after bearing the brunt of Green’s 230-lb. frame. Officials then proceeded to eject Green for a hostile act.
While Draymond Green has not had the cleanest reputation when it comes to silly postseason fouls, Damian Lillard believes that there was nothing intentionally dirty with what the Warriors forward did.
“Take foul on Sabonis … I didn’t think Dray tried to step down … that’s just how his balance ended up …” Lillard wrote on his official Twitter account.
While Damian Lillard’s reading of the situation could very much be true, it’s clear that the Warriors forward’s track record did not help matters at all when it came to that play. The slow-motion replays did not help as well, as it seemed like Green put more force towards the stomp than there would be had it not been an intentional kick.
Green and Sabonis have already been tussling since Game 1. In the dying embers of what turned out to be a 124-121 Warriors defeat, Green appeared to sit on Sabonis in the backcourt to prevent him from playing defense. But that appeared to be a mere foreshadowing of another more physical altercation between the two.
It’s unclear whether the league would decide to suspend Green for such a play. The letter of the law, however, shows that Green should be available for Game 3 even after he made a questionable play. And for the Warriors’ sake, they will need him to be at his best in Game 3 to avoid an insurmountable 3-0 series deficit against the Kings.
The post Damian Lillard defends Draymond Green’s kick on Domantas Sabonis in Warriors’ Game 2 loss appeared first on ClutchPoints.