Draymond Green has been toeing the line. Late in the second quarter Wednesday night in the Warriors' 134-126 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena, he apparently crossed it.
With 40.8 seconds remaining in the first half and the Warriors down by four points, Green was given his 16th technical foul in the regular season. That amounts to a one-game suspension, with the Warriors playing the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on Friday night.
However, Green fully expects to play two nights from now. Why? Because of a different controversial technical foul from earlier this season.
"I expect something to change," Green said to reporters in LA after the loss. "I got one tech this year because a ref yelled at me and I said, 'If I yell at you, I'm gonna get a fine.' I got a tech for it. So, I think something will change.
"If that's a tech, then every word you say on the court is a tech. We'll see."
Green picked up his 15th technical foul on Feb. 13 in the Warriors' nine-point win over the Washington Wizards. He had played 10 games without receiving that dreaded 16th tech. Until Wednesday night's loss in LA.
In his 11-year NBA career, Green previously has reached 15 technical fouls twice without crossing the barrier in the regular season. Steve Kerr has maintained he trusts his do-it-all forward, and didn't expect him to be suspended this season. As recently as last week, the Warriors coach made it clear the possibility wasn't on his mind.
"I’ve never said one word to Draymond, and he’s never gone over the limit," Kerr said ahead of the Warriors' loss in Memphis on March 9. "He always comes right up to the edge and then he stops. He knows how valuable he is, I don’t have to say anything to him.
"He knows that he can’t get that next one -- we need him."
Along with a possible suspension, every technical foul Green is called for in the Warriors' final 12 games will result in a $5,000 fine. Every two techs would result in another one-game suspension.
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The timing can't be worse. The Warriors (36-34) dropped to the No. 6 seed in the West with their loss to the Clippers. They now have lost nine straight road games, and have four more to go on this five-game road trip. Plus, they simply need the bodies.
While the Warriors continue to contemplate what they'll do with their 15th and final roster spot, losing Green would give them nine players for Friday night's game against the Hawks.
Andrew Wiggins continues to be away from the team due to a family matter. Andre Iguodala is out for the foreseeable future with a fractured left wrist. Anthony Lamb has reached his 50-game limit on his two-way deal, and Ty Jerome can't play again until Lamb likely is converted.
"Yeah, we'll see," Kerr said Wednesday night of the situation. "We'll see what happens with that. But obviously we need everybody that we can get right now. We'll see how it plays out."
Draymond and the Warriors have 24 hours to wait for his ultimate fate. If nothing changes, getting back in the win column on the road will be that much harder.