Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been fundamental to their success throughout the season, but he needs to control his emotions if he’s to help them win back-to-back championships.
Although Green came up with a key performance in Game 1 on Friday morning, contributing 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and a blocked shot in 40 minutes, he is two ‘technicals’ or one flagrant foul away from an automatic one-game suspension.
The Warriors lead the Finals 1-0, but the reigning champions can’t afford to face the Cavaliers without Green.
“He knows exactly what the situation is,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said.
“We had one conversation about it last week and he knows exactly what’s at stake. I thought the last couple games of the OKC series he did a great job of composing himself and treating the referees well. When he was complaining, he did it more respectfully. I think he’s done a good job of that and he’ll continue to do so.”
Green avoided a one-game suspension after kicking Steven Adams in Game 3 in the Western Conference Finals, but he remains in the spotlight.
In Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday night, Green sparked a debate about his behaviour after kicking Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.
If Green gets a suspension in the Finals, it could turn the Warriors’ 73-win season upside down.
However, Green says he is just focused on winning his second NBA ring.
But the title won’t happen if they disregard the Cavaliers despite being 6-0 up dating back to last season’s Final.
“They’re going to battle, they’re going to compete and they’re super talented,” Green said.
“So you can’t come out saying, oh, we beat them six in a row, we’re good. Absolutely not. As soon as you do that and let your guard down, it’s a wrap. We know that. So we’ve got to continue to compete and try to win games.”