Draymond Green believes that the Golden State Warriors would have been crowned NBA champions had he played in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The Warriors power forward was suspended for Monday’s game, which the Cleveland Cavaliers won 112-97 to reduce the series deficit to 3-2, for striking LeBron James in the groin during Game 4 last Friday.
James and Kyrie Irving scored 41 points apiece in Game 5, breaking an NBA record for the most points scored by a pair of players in an NBA Finals game.
Green, though, believes that James and Irving’s efforts would have gone in vain had he been playing in that game.
“I have a strong belief that if I play in Game 5, we win. But I didn’t because I put myself in a situation where I wasn’t able to play,” Green told reporters. “I move on from the suspension. That was Game 5; we’re here in Game 6 so it’s behind us. We got an opportunity to do something that, I don’t know if it’s ever been done … where you win a championship on someone else’s floor two years in a row. We have that opportunity. It’s a fun one. It’ll be tough.”
When asked about whether the incident which got him suspended was deliberate or an accident, Green opted to sidestep the question.
“At the end of the day, everyone is going to have their opinion on it and it don’t matter anymore,” he said. “I have to be better and not put myself in this position to where it is a decision, to where there is an investigation. I do my team no justice being in street clothes watching the game at the A’s game.”
Green also admitted that he is aware of the fact that if he picks up another flagrant foul or two technical fouls, he will be suspended for Game 7, should it be required. Despite this, he has no plans to alter his approach or mindset.
“I think I’ve got to come out and play my game regardless,” he said. “There’s those little fine lines you know you can’t cross. It’s not every play that you’re close to that line. It’s a basketball game, so there’s only certain plays where you are. I just have to make sure I’m composed when those situations come about that I control my emotions and channel that energy and use it in a positive way to help my team.”