Draymond Green scoffs at James Harden's Game 1 officiating complaints

Draymond Green scoffs at James Harden's Game 1 officiating complaints

OAKLAND -- Considering his reputation for flopping in an attempt to draw fouls, Rockets superstar James Harden showed a lot of nerve Sunday afternoon.

Harden complained about the officiating in Game 1 of the NBA playoff second-round series against the Warriors. His gripes, which might lead to a fine by the NBA, mostly were about not getting calls when launching 3-pointers.

“I mean, I just want a fair chance, man,” Harden said after a 104-100 loss to the Warriors at Oracle Arena. “Call the game how it’s supposed to be called, and that’s it. And I’ll live with the results.”

Upon hearing of Harden’s grievance, Draymond Green summoned a he-of-all-people-to-complain response: “Huh.”

The Warriors forward, who's had his share of disagreements with officials, had to suppress laughter. He seemed particularly incredulous about the “fair chance” comment.

“I've been fouled by James on a James 3-pointer before,” Green said, referring to Harden’s tendency to extend his legs to draw contact after shooting. “No, I ain't going with that one. I'm straight. No.”

Harden was so peeved that he referenced Game 1 of the Warriors-Spurs 2017 Western Conference finals, when then-Golden State center Zaza Pachulia was whistled for running underneath San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard on a 3-point attempt. Leonard rolled his ankle and missed the rest of the series, won by the Warriors.

“We all know what happened a few years back with Kawhi,” Harden said. “That can change the entire series.

“Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called, and we’ll live with the results. It’s plain and simple.”

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who conferred with referees several times during the game, said he was told by the officials -- Josh Tiven, Courtney Kirkland and crew chief Zach Zarba -- that they missed some calls.

“That’s what they told me,” D’Antoni said. “They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots.”

D’Antoni added that he believed his team “could have easily gone to the line another 20 times.” As it was, the Rockets shot 29 free throws -- 14 by Harden -- to 27 for the Warriors, led by Kevin Durant making 12 of 15.

As someone with a long and often acrimonious history with officials, Green wasn't in the mood to hear any grumbling from D’Antoni -- and definitely not from Harden.

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“I’m going to contest his shot,” Green said. “I’ve got to contest the shot. When you land three feet ahead of where you shoot the ball from, that’s really not my issue.”

Suffice to say, Game 2 could be very interesting. The officials to be assigned have been warned.

Warriors' Damion Lee eager to get back in the lineup

USA Today

Warriors' Damion Lee eager to get back in the lineup

SAN FRANCISCO - For weeks, Warriors Damion Lee has been sequestered to the team's training room, prompting a running joke among his injured teammates. 

"We're in detention while everybody's having recess," Lee explained on Tuesday afternoon.  

A two-way guard, Lee has frequently outplayed his two-way contract status, becoming a dependable role player. A fractured bone in his right hand impeded that progress, forcing him to miss a month of action. Now, after being upgraded to probable for Wednesday's matchup against the Knicks, he's eager to get back into the fold. 

"I'm good. I'm going out there and not thinking about it. It took its course and it's healed, and everything's fine," Lee said. "When the time comes, I will be out there on the court, and whenever my number's called, just go out there and get the butterflies out early, and just have fun."

Lee -- who suffered a nondisplaced fracture in his right hand last month-- joined the team on its most recent five-game road trip. After missing Monday's loss to Memphis, he participated fully in practice Tuesday morning, including a 3-on-3 scrimmage prior to Tuesday's session. While listed as probable for Wednesday's game against the Knicks, Lee expects to be brought back slowly. 

"I highly doubt I'm going to be out there playing 30, 35 minutes. Just going out there," he said. "Just coming off the bench, just trying to bring that spark, muck up the game, and just have fun with everything."

Following an injury-plagued college career at Drexel and Louisville, Lee went undrafted in 2016, bouncing around the league, including G-League stops with the Maine Red Claws and Golden State's affiliate in Santa Cruz, earning a two-way contract last season. During his tenure in Golden State, he's frequently outplayed his contract. This season -- in a two-way role -- he became a rotation player with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry out for extended time. In an early-season win over the New Orleans Pelicans, he scored a career-high 23 points, adding 11 rebounds. 

His availability comes with a caveat. As a two-way player, he can only be with the Warriors 45 days before he's forced back down to the G-League for the season unless Golden State signs him to a fully guaranteed deal. As of Tuesday, Lee has 31 days left with the Warriors. 

Lee's addition to the roster comes as the roster is getting healthier. In the last week, expected contributors Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans and D'Angelo Russell have returned from various injuries. With a return on the horizon, Lee believes he'll reach his previous production levels with time. 

"I know tomorrow I'm not going to go out there and be perfect. I know I'm not going to make every shot, I'm not going to miss every shot," Lee said. "But it's just going out there and just doing things at game speed. Obviously, being in the game, but preparing at game speed, and just going out there, and once it all starts to click, then it'll obviously go up. Going out there tomorrow, the main thing is just playing hard and having fun."

Ron Adams pinpoints where Warriors need to improve most on defense

Ron Adams pinpoints where Warriors need to improve most on defense

Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams no longer sits on the bench during games, but he still has a very important job.

The 72-year-old is a defensive guru, so it must be painful for him to see Golden State ranked 25th in defensive rating.

"We gotta get much better defending the 3-point shot -- that's kind of been a sticking point," Adams told Warriors radio voice Tim Roye prior to the Dubs' loss to the Grizzlies on Monday night. "But we now have more players, which helps.

"But it's really tough when you're on the road with eight or nine guys."

Well, speaking of defending the arc and losing to Memphis -- the Grizzlies went 15-for-40 (37.5 percent) from deep Monday. They entered the game shooting 34.2 percent (24th in the NBA), averaging 10.8 makes per game (No. 22).

But it wasn't a surprise to see Memphis connect from 3-point territory because the Warriors entered the matchup with the worst 3-point defense in the NBA, allowing opponents to make just under 40 percent of their attempts.

That's really, really bad -- especially when you give up the second most makes per contest (13.8).

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And it's not like the Dubs suffered bad luck against Memphis.

If they don't clean up this area of the game, the Warriors' rough season only will get uglier.

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