Draymond Green suspended for Game 3 of Warriors-Kings series
On Tuesday, April 18th, the NBA announced that Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green will be suspended for Game 3 of the team’s series against the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento center Domantas Sabonis grabbed Green’s ankle with 7:03 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 2, and the Warriors star responded by stomping on the Lithuanian’s chest. Green was assessed a Flagrant 2 and was ejected from the game, but it's clear Adam Silver and Co. felt that wasn't enough of a punishment. The league referenced “Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts” in announcing the suspension.
The Kings already have a 2-0 series lead over the defending champions, who entered the series as -300 favorites to knock off a third-seeded Sacramento squad. Now, Mike Brown and the Kings are -174 favorites to dethrone the Warriors. Game 3 will be played at the Chase Center on Thursday, April 20th, when Stephen Curry will try and help his team get back into this series. However, doing so without Green is going to be extremely difficult.
Green is averaging 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game this season, and he is still one of the league’s best defenders. Green was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, and he’s a four-time NBA All-Defensive First Team player. Golden State had already been struggling to guard Sacramento in this series, and this is just a massive blow to the Warriors. Green isn't just a good individual defender, but he's one of the league's most versatile help defenders — and he also happens to be the vocal leader of his team's defense.
Not only will Golden State miss Green’s defense, but the Warriors will likely have to dip even further into their weak rotation in order to fill some of his minutes. Golden State’s depth has been an issue this year, and losing any key contributor right now is brutal to the team’s chances of coming back. But the fact that it’s the only member of the team’s core that primarily focuses on the defensive end could be the deathblow to their hopes of repeating.
Golden State was +950 to win the NBA title at DraftKings Sportsbook before the postseason started. Now the Warriors can be had at +1400 to win it all, and it’d take a bold bettor to put some money down on that.
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