2022 NBA Finals: Warriors physical play could hinder Game 3 chances

Draymond Green Warriors Celtics Game 3
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts toward Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in San Francisco, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The Golden State Warriors descend upon Boston in a 1-1 NBA Finals to face the Celtics with a potential issue on their hands. One that could shape not only how Game 3 goes, but the series as a whole. 

The issue: Draymond Green and technical fouls.

In Game 2, the controversial forward received a  technical foul in the first half after getting tangled up with and tripping Celtics forward Grant Williams. The more memorable incident of the night was when Celtics guard Jaylen Brown attempted a three-pointer with Green getting caught in the crosshairs. 

Both players as a result of Green’s attempt to block the ball fell to the ground with Green’s feet landing near Brown’s head and neck. After Brown quickly removed Green’s feet from off of him while being pushed by the Golden State foward, Brown stood over Green upset. Green quickly responded by attempting to pull himself up by using Brown’s pants and the heated exchange began. 

The players were quickly separated from each other with the referees reviewing Green’s behavior if it was grounds for another technical to be issued. To the Warriors’ benefit, the referees did not call a technical on Green, saving him from being ejected from the game.

This save could be what helped the Warriors pull off their blowout win in Game 2. 

But as the Warriors progress through the series and now playing in Boston, the issue of Green and his physical behavior towards his opponents could be costly. Following Golden State’s win, Green expressed how his physical approach to the series is needed. 

“The physicality, that’s my department,” he said. “I have to make sure I lead in that area and everyone else will follow.” 

Green’s playing strategy is something that isn’t new if you’re a Warriors fan or knowledgeable of who Green is as a player. However, if the referees take more of a similar approach as they did in the first quarter of Game 2, things may work against him.

On Monday’s taping of First Take, Stephen A. Smith expressed his dissatisfaction of the evaluation of the situation between Green and Brown. 

“The officials are there to officiate the game and contain things but not necessarily control things” he said. “Do you really really want to win because Draymond Green is ejected from a game? It really disgusts me.” 

Though some may agree with Smith’s disgust at the way the referees evaluated the situation, some may feel as though it’s justified. 

“I’m just trying to play basketball and I feel like that was an illegal play,” Brown said. “I feel like they could have called it but let it go.” 

As Game 3 quickly approaches, not only do the Warriors need to be more cognizant of Green’s physical approach they need to be aware of how the Celtics may respond. The Warriors also need to be aware of how the referees may respond to Green’s actions as well.

With the Celtics now playing on their home court, they will now be more likely to show their dominance on the court than before.