In the end, the NBA may have done Oklahoma City a favor by allowing Draymond Green to play in Game 4 of the Western Conference.
Green, who kicked Steven Adams in the groin Game 3, scored six points on 1-of-7 shooting in Golden State’s 118-94 loss Tuesday. He has 12 points and 10 turnovers in his last two games and is shooting just 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) from three in the series.
All kidding aside, was the NBA right in not suspending Green?
“Well, that’s a tough situation for the league,” 15-year NBA veteran and current Fox Sports Oklahoma NBA analyst Michael Cage said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “When I saw it – I saw it live – I thought he should have been ejected right away. When I saw the review, it got worse. It should have been a flagrant 2 and an ejection. I thought it would have probably served him well being ejected from Game 3 than to get the flagrant 1, remain in the game and then have the anxieties over whether or not he’s going to play.”
He played in Game 4, but it didn’t matter. The Thunder were unstoppable in Oklahoma City, leading by as many as 41 in Game 3 and winning by 24 in Game 4.
“I like what Kevin Durant said yesterday,” Cage said. “He said, ‘It didn’t really matter to us. We just kept playing, and we’re going to continue to play. Whether he plays or not, we’re going to play right through that.’ But I thought, in my opinion, it was definitely something that warranted (a) suspension, and I think Adam Silver came out and said it was very close to being a suspension. It’s one of those things: It’s a bang-bang play, but obviously the intent was there. Hitting a guy in the family jewels back-to-back games, come on, man. But I thought the league sent the message there’s zero tolerance from here on out.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, have offered zero resistance to the Thunder, who are win away from returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Golden State swept the season series against OKC, but the playoffs have been a different story.
“They swept us, but two of those three games, I just thought Steph Curry made some amazing shots,” Cage said. “I think they knew that they could compete with this team, and it just kind of started from that point.”
Oklahoma City has won six of its last seven games – all against the Spurs and Warriors, who went a combined 140-24 (.854) this season.
“No one gave us a chance in the Spurs series, but you go and win two games in San Antonio, and I started noticing the defense at that point,” Cage said. “LaMarcus Aldridge killed us the first two games of the series, but we split those (games). We were okay with him getting those numbers as long as (everyone else wasn’t). You fast-forward right here: You’re playing the best team in the world, the defending NBA champions, two-time MVP player Steph Curry – they have a whole lot of offense on the floor. The one thing you have to do with the Warriors is you have to defend and chase them off that three-point line – or else they’ll just kill you. The Thunder have found a way to chase them off the line, but at the same time still be who they are. The Warriors were the No. 1 scoring team in the NBA. Well, the Thunder were right behind them at No. 2. Both were at over 110 points per game. So I thought on paper they were pretty close. I thought quietly the Thunder just got better in the playoffs and they just (keep beating) these heavyweights.”