As smart as he is intense, don't worry about possible Draymond suspension

As smart as he is intense, don't worry about possible Draymond suspension

OAKLAND -- When the announcement blasted from the Oracle Arena sound system that Draymond Green had been assessed with a flagrant foul the reaction from the sellout crowd was disapproval with a generous undercurrent of dread.

The officials are targeting Draymond.

Draymond didn’t deserve such harsh judgment.

Well, with the Warriors up 14 on the Spurs and 4:27 remaining, at least this shouldn’t affect the game.

And, finally, as fans exited after the Warriors finished off a 116-101 victory over San Antonio in Game 2 Monday night, there inevitably was this: How many flagrant fouls are allowed before there is a suspension?

Warriors fans are all too familiar with Green’s history in matters of NBA discipline. The team’s ownership and management are aware of it. Coaches, too, as well as his teammates.

It’s popular to theorize Green’s suspension during the 2016 NBA Finals cost the Warriors a championship. Maybe it did. Maybe with him available, they would have closed out the Cavaliers in Game 5 at Oracle. At the very least, Green’s absence in Game 5 altered the arc of the series, giving Cleveland a chance to seize momentum.

"I have a strong belief that if I play in Game 5, we win,” Green said in Cleveland, prior to Game 6 of the 2016 Finals. “But I didn't because I put myself in a situation where I wasn't able to play,"

This is why there is no need to worry. No one is more mindful of Green’s history with officials and the league’s rule-enforcement arm than Green. After the anguish he felt while cooped up in a suite during a baseball game at the adjacent Coliseum as the Warriors took a 112-97 loss in Game 5, there is no way he does that again.

Not to himself and, moreover, not to his teammates.

Green will do what he must -- and not do what he shouldn’t -- to avoid the four flagrant foul points required for automatic suspension in the postseason, just as he dodged being assessed with 16 required for automatic suspension in the regular season.

He might approach a suspension, as he did in the regular season when he picked up No. 15 on Feb. 24 at Oklahoma City, had it rescinded two days later, only to reach 15 again on March 9 at Portland. He then stopped, cold turkey. After averaging one technical foul for every 4.4 games, Green went the last 16 games, playing in 12 of them, without another.

He knows there is a line, and he knows when not to cross it.

Green’s flagrant-1 in Game 2 came after he was attempting block out Davis Bertans under the basket and the Spurs forward came up from behind and swung his left elbow over Green’s right shoulder and into his neck. Green responded by raising his right arm above over Bertans’ left arm and catching him in his chin, with Bertans falling backward clutching his face.

Responding aggressively to initial aggression may be the most common flagrant-1 there is. And upon video review of the play by officials, that was the verdict of crew chief Ed Malloy.

Though surely annoyed by it, Warriors coach Steve Kerr exhibited no sign of apprehension after the game.

“We'll hear from the league, I guess,” he said. “Just got to go with it.”

Green also doesn’t seem deeply concerned.

“It is what it is,” he said. “Life goes on. There are more important things in life than worrying about a flagrant point. Maybe they will rescind it. I got choked, put in a chokehold, like I was in the WWE or something.”

The Warriors have talked with Green several times about his composure. But it’s a fine-line conversation, as they don’t want to extinguish his roaring flame as much as keep it focused in a single direction -- for his teammates, on his opponents.

It is, in some ways, like asking a lion to mute his roar. That’s not what they want, and it’s not what keeps Green ticking.

Green, however, is as smart as he is intense. When it matters most, he won’t permit his fiery persona to overtake his keen intellect.

Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson questionable for Game 5 vs Rockets

Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson questionable for Game 5 vs Rockets

Andre Iguodala has some company on the Warriors' injury report ahead of Game 5 in Houston on Thursday night.

Klay Thompson, who suffered a left knee strain during the first half of Game 4, is listed as questionable, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

"Klay's moving aroound really well. I think Klay's going to be fine," Steve Kerr said following practice on Wednesday in Houston.

Iguodala missed Game 4 with a left lateral leg contusion and is questionable for Game 5.

"He's feeling a little better today. And he's out on the floor, not doing a whole lot, but making progress," Kerr said.

Thompson's injury occurred in the first minute of the second quarter on Tuesday. As he drove to the basket against Rockets center Clint Capela, he landed awkwardly and fell to the court. He stay in the game, but was quickly removed and went to the locker room with the Warriors trainers. Though the team diagnosed him with a left knee strain, Thompson returned to the game and played 39 total minutes.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Warriors 126, Rockets 85
Game 4 Rockets 95, Warriors 92
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

'I thought it was bad' -- Bob Myers takes you inside training room for Klay's knee evaluation

'I thought it was bad' -- Bob Myers takes you inside training room for Klay's knee evaluation

Klay Thompson sustained a strained left knee on Tuesday night.

He checked out of the game with 10:16 left in the second quarter, and returned at the 6:06 mark.

On Wednesday afternoon, Warriors GM Bob Myers joined Greg Papa and Bonta Hill on 95.7 The Game and provided the following update on the four-time All-Star:

"He was a little sore today ... flying is not good for injuries ... he just doesn't get hurt. He's one of those guys. You could tell. I looked at Kirk (Lacob) and I said, 'He's hurt. Klay's hurt.'

"And if you were watching him try to run up and down, I thought it was bad. I was thinking meniscus or something. So then when he got back to the locker room, you can always kind of gauge a player's concern by their mannerisms. And he just threw a towel over his face and laid down on the training table. And that's not a good sign. 

"And then slowly the doctor goes through the progressions ... he passed all those function tests. And Klay couldn't pinpoint where the pain was ... he said it just hurts when (he) runs ... so then we went out in the back of the training room and he tried to run. And our trainer Chelsea free'd it up and it turned out to be a little more of a muscle thing, which was good news. But it was a tweak.

"It's funny -- Klay ran up and down twice and said, 'I'm good.' And just started walking back to the court. I think he's gonna be OK."

Klay only scored 10 points and went 4-for-13 from the field.

He dropped 28 points in Game 1, but has only registered a combined 31 points since.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller