It was a big weekend for NBA players taking painfully cheap shots at the most sensitive of opponents’ areas. Cleveland’s Dahntay Jones earned a one-game suspension for hitting Toronto’s Bismack Biyombo at the end of Saturday’s Cavaliers-Raptors game, and the league will likely take a dim view of the kick Golden State’s Draymond Green landed to the groin of Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams on Sunday.
Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul on the play, which occurred with under six minutes left in the first half of Game 4 of the Warriors-Thunder Western Conference finals series. Adams fouled Green in the act of shooting but ended up getting the worst of it himself, this after getting hit by Green in the same region in Wednesday’s Game 2.
Fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City chanted “Kick him out!” but Green was able to stay in the game and hit both of his free throws, cutting the Thunder’s lead to 48-42. Adams, however, then made the free throws he was given, and the incident seemed to galvanize Oklahoma City, which ended the first half with a 72-47 lead. The Thunder would then score a massive 45 points in the third quarter and cruise to a 133-105 win over the defending champions.
“I followed through on a shot,” Green said after the game. “I’m not trying to kick somebody in the men’s section. I’m sure he wants to have kids one day, I’m not trying to end that on a basketball court.”
“I don’t think I’ll be suspended,” Green added. “I don’t know how anyone could possibly say that I did that on purpose, regardless of the way it may look.”
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said that, rather than suspend Green, he thought the NBA should “rescind” the technical foul. “Stuff like that happens all the time,” Kerr said. “There’s contact, people’s arms, legs flailing. If they think it’s on purpose, play the game, you know. This stuff happens all the time.
“[Thunder guard Russell] Westbrook kicks out his feet on every three and there is contact, I mean, that’s just part of the game,” Kerr continued. “So I don’t understand how that can be deemed a Flagrant 1. I think it should be rescinded.”
“The league is going to review those things,” Thunder Coach Billy Donovan said in his post-game remarks. “I think they probably look at those plays very closely. It happened, I think, last game to Steven. And I’m not here to say whether it was or was not intentional. I don’t know. But obviously it’s happened twice in the last two games, and that’s something the league will take a look at.”
Steven Adams on Draymond Green kick: "It happened before, mate. He's pretty accurate."— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 23, 2016
Westbrook on Draymond's kick: "Honestly I think it's intentional. That's two times in the last two games."— tim cato (@tim_cato) May 23, 2016
In the closing moments of the Raptors’ 99-84 win over the Cavs in Game 3 of their series, Biyombo was left writhing in pain after Jones made contact with him below the belt.