The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a do-or-die Game 5 outing against the Golden State Warriors on Monday. A loss here, and Cleveland will have found itself losers of the NBA Finals to the Warriors in consecutive seasons.
The backstory here is real, and promises to add even more drama when Game 5 tips off in Oakland on Monday night.
The NBA suspended Warriors forward Draymond Green for the game after the All-Star got into a pretty big scrape with LeBron James back in Game 4 on Thursday.
Green received a Flagrant 1 following an incident in which he swung at James in the second half of that game.
This put him across the threshold for the number of flagrant fouls before a player is suspended in the NBA Playoffs.
I am surprised the NBA suspended Draymond Green. He was clearly baited. https://t.co/uopjC4DD65
— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 12, 2016
James received a technical for his role in the incident, but won’t be barred from playing in the all-important game.
Following the announcement of Green’s suspension, James’ teammate Kevin Love seemingly threw a bit of shade in the direction of one of his own.
Kevin Love on stepover moves: "You don't see it too much, but, yeah, I think it is looked at as a form of disrespect."
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) June 13, 2016
This comes the same day that Klay Thompson also called James out for his post-game reaction on Thursday night.
It also comes at a time when the entire Association seems to be split over the decision to suspend Green. Was he baited? Is the NBA siding with James here? Is there an ulterior motive for the suspension?
Should Cleveland force a Game 6, that will likely be the debate of the day.
Either way, Love’s comments are rather interesting. When you step over a man after knocking him to the ground, that could definitely be construed in a specific manner.