Draymond Green has a track record of getting banned from playoff games at the worst possible times. His infamous Game 5 suspension during the 2016 NBA Finals helped launch Cleveland’s legendary comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship. Now, as the Golden State Warriors take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round of this postseason, Green has been ejected in the middle of a close Game 1.
The play came at the end of the second quarter. Green was called for a foul when he pulled down Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke by the jersey. On replay, it was called a flagrant-2 foul as “excessive and unnecessary.” Green initially slapped Clarke with a wind-up before pulling him down.
As the officials watched the replay on the video monitor, Grizzlies fans chanted “throw him out” at Green.
When Green did find out he was getting ejected, he made a big show of his exit, dancing and hyping up the crowd as he left the floor.
The Grizzlies led 55-53 when Green was ejected. They extended that lead to 61-55 when the two teams went to the locker rooms for halftime.
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Golden State relies on Green to play significant minutes for them at center in the postseason. His absence further strains Kevon Looney, typically a fairly low-usage player, and Jonathan Kuminga, a rookie playing in his first postseason. The Warriors struggled to a 16-13 record during his 29-game midseason absence. Winning this series without home-court advantage just became a whole lot more difficult.