DRAYMOND GREEN VICIOUSLY ATTACKS REF BREAKING pic.twitter.com/kQEZUTj2XD
— Pinwheel Empire (@pinwheelempire) May 12, 2016
The most important takeaways from the Golden State Warriors’ series-deciding Game 5 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers have little to do with Draymond Green.
Terry Stotts’ upstart squad braved a red-hot Klay Thompson and typically clutch Steph Curry to have a chance to win at Oracle Arena – with its season on the line, no less. It was a superb performance by the Trail Blazers, one that portends victories much more than moral at this time of year in the future.
But a strange and mostly overlooked incident midway through the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game deserves attention nonetheless.
After being called for a questionable while defending the rim, a disgusted Green turned away and aggressively swung his arms below his waist. Longtime official Ken Mauer – who didn’t blow his whistle, by the way – was standing on the baseline a few feet behind Golden State’s loudmouth forward as the latter immediately gesticulated in frustration. The result wasn’t just contact between Green and an official, but a cut on Mauer’s finger that bled and required game-stopping attention from medical personnel.
Did Green intentionally hit Mauer? Of course not. It’s also undeniable, however, that a less knee-jerk and outwardly antagonistic reaction to a questionable call would have kept this event from taking place altogether.
The Warriors’ notoriously contentious star, by the way, wasn’t called for a foul of any kind here. We’re not totally sure he should have been, either. There is room for disagreement here. Regardless, keep an eye on how referees interact with Green come the Conference Finals – his literal run-in with Mauer certainly won’t help his reputation.