Draymond Green is at it again. Green, the mercurial and tempestuous forward from the Golden State Warriors, earned a one-game suspension for a foot stomp on Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis in Game 2 of their playoff series.
The Warriors will try to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole without their veteran instigator. The Kings made the most of their first postseason appearance since 2006 by winning their first two playoff games in front of their hometown crowd in Sacramento.
Without Green to torment them in Game 3 on Thursday, the Kings have a chance to extend their lead to 3-0 and take another step closer to winning their first playoff series since 2004.
Since the start of the 2021-22 season, the Warriors are 22-23 without Green in the lineup.
The Sabonis Stomp
The now-viral stomping incident occurred midway through the fourth quarter of Game 2. The Kings led 91-87 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Sabonis and Green were tangled up during a fast break initiated by the Kings. Sabonis fell to the court but grabbed Green’s leg. Green couldn’t avoid contact with Sabonis, but intentionally stomped down hard on Sabonis’ torso.
Sabonis rolled around on the court in pain while officials looked at the replay to determine if Green warranted a flagrant foul or ejection.
When I fell, I was protecting myself, and then the incident happened,” Sabonis told reporters after the game. “There is no room for that in our game today.”
“My leg got grabbed, the second time in two nights, and the referee is just watching,” Green said in a post-game press conference. “I got to land my foot somewhere, and I’m not the most flexible person, so it’s not stretching that far. I can only step so far with someone pulling my leg away.”
While officials reviewed the play, a combative Green jawed with fans at the Golden 1 Center. Officials issued Green a flagrant foul and he was subsequently ejected from the game. Sabonis also earned a technical foul, which resulted in a free throw for the Warriors, but he wasn’t ejected.
The Kings held on to win 114-106 and extended their series lead to 2-0.
Green logged 31 minutes before his ejection. He scored eight points with five assists and four rebounds. Sabonis tallied a team-high 24 points including nine rebounds and four assists in the victory.
NBA Penalizes Petulant Green as Repeat Offender
The Warriors expected the NBA would fine Green, but they were surprised by the one-game suspension. The league decided to suspend Green based on his past transgressions and physical entanglements with opponents during his career.
Here’s what it came down to: excessive and over-the-top actions, conduct detrimental, and a repeat offender,” NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars told ESPN. “That’s what separates this where you end up with a suspension.”
Green is an 11-season veteran of the NBA and has spent his entire career with the Warriors. He’s a throwback to the ultra-physical days of the NBA from the late 20th century, but his low-brow tactics are considered too aggressive and outdated in the modern era.
Since the Warriors drafted Green out of Michigan State in 2012, he was thrown out of 17 games and earned 163 technical fouls. Including the current one-game suspension, Green has been suspended four times in his career.
This is the second time Green was suspended in the playoffs. During the 2016 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, Green sat out a game after he exceeded the limit on flagrant fouls. He crossed the line after he punched LeBron James in the groin in Game 4.
Betting Game 3 Between the Kings/Warriors
The Warriors went 44-38 and secured the #6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The defending champions were two different teams in the regular season. There’s the dominant team at home at the Chase Center in downtown San Francisco that won 33 games and lost just eight. Then there’s the dreadful road team that struggled away from home. Out of all 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs, the Warriors had the worst road record at 11-30.
The Warriors dropped the first two games of the series, but they return home for Games 3 and 4 for a chance to tie up the series.
Oddsmakers installed the Warriors as -7 favorites at home in Game 3. The line dropped to -5.5 after the NBA suspended Green.
When the regular season ended, the Warriors were +900 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, and the Kings were +8000 odds at DraftKings. After the Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead, they saw their championship odds narrow to +2800. Meanwhile, the Warriors slipped to +1500 odds to win back-to-back championships.
In Western Conference championship futures, the Warriors are now +650 odds to win consecutive conference titles. The Kings are +850 odds to win their first-ever Western Conference crown.
The Kings are now the betting favorite to win the first-round playoff series at -170 odds, and the Warriors are the underdog at +140. Before the playoffs tipped off, the Warriors were -250 odds to defeat the Kings. Even though the Kings were the #3 seed, they were an underdog at +225 odds to beat the Warriors.
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