The NBA has fined – but will not suspend – Draymond Green for kicking Steven Adams in the groin in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday. Green was given a flagrant 1 on the play, which the NBA upgraded to a flagrant 2. Green will be fined $25,000 but will be available for Game 4 on Tuesday.
Did the NBA get this right?
“I think they did,” The Vertical’s Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I had thought that there would be more of a fine and less of a suspension, but the more you watch the play, the more you doubted yourself a little bit, and the longer this thing went on, you thought that’s kind of where we were headed with the suspension.”
Green extended his right leg toward Adams’ groin area while following through on a drive to the basket. Jones, meanwhile, struck Bismack Biyombo in the final seconds of Game 3 in Toronto.
“I just thought that the kick motion was a little different than the Dahntay Jones play, where it was more of a swing,” Marks said. “I get it. I think it could have gone either way. But if you’re going to ask me did (the NBA) get it right, yeah, they did. My issue is that there’s an inconsistent pattern of how we’re dealing with suspensions here, and some of the precedent that maybe was set five years ago – we’re not seeing that come to form right now.”
One must wonder if the caliber of player came into play for the NBA. Jones, 35, is averaging 1.0 point in the playoffs. Green, one of the most valuable players in the league, is averaging 16.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 steals. Thus, while Green is vital, Jones is irrelevant.
Is it fair to wonder if that influenced the NBA’s decision here?
“Yeah, it’s fair. It’s certainly a fair point,” Marks said. “The interesting thing on the Jones suspension – and I don’t even know if we can call it that. It’s more of take a night home because he’s not a factor in the series. He got fined $80 for the punch and everything based on how the formula is set up for the rules. But I get your argument there. What would have happened if that was the end of (Game 3) in Oklahoma City and that was a Leandro Barbosa or a Brandon Rush? Is the league looking at that differently? It might be. i think every case has got to be handled separately. If that’s the way the league is approaching things, where you’re kind of picking and choosing things as far as what players get suspended, you’re definitely sending the wrong message here.”