Rockets’ consistent dirty play against Warriors sullying amazing series

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors have put up one of the better conference semifinals series in recent history. It heads to Game 6 in Houston Friday night with Golden State looking to close the series out.

The backdrop of this hard-fought series has been a rivalry between the two sides. Primarily due to his own history, Draymond Green has been placed under a microscope.

A questionable incident at the end of Game 5 in Oakland Wednesday night only added to this.

Whether that was purposeful or Chris Paul’s way of flopping (he’s known to do it) remains to be seen. What we do know is that Green was hit with his fourth technical of the playoffs.

Though, it’s been the Rockets’ underhanded and dirty tactics that’s been the story of the series. It’s now time for the NBA to do something about it.

  • There’s no objective way to conclude this was a clean play. Not only did Paul attempt to trip Green, he pointed at the Warriors’ forward when arguing with officials.
  • You are threatening a serious injury to an opponent for no good reason. There’s no box out here. There’s nothing happening in the low post.
  • Instead, Harden is purposely trying to hurt Green. If he had made contact with the All-Star, officials would have called him for a flagrant.

Later in the game, Rockets guard Chris Paul seemingly pushed both Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney out of bounds.

The play itself was controversial and led to Golden State putting the dagger into Houston for a 3-2 series lead.

  • Was Thompson out of bounds? Maybe. But it was only a question because of Paul’s push.
  • After Thompson saved it to Looney, Paul proceeded to push the big man out of bounds before he got it to Klay for the bucket.
  • As you can see, Paul was seen arguing with the officials after the play. One really has to wonder if this is the way the league wants the NBPA President to act.

Earlier in the series, both Harden and Looney were involved in a unique situation. As he’s done throughout his career, Harden was attempting to draw a foul on a three-point attempt.

  • In an attempt to draw a foul, Harden put his foot right where Looney was looking to land. No foul was called. But that’s not the point here.
  • This could have very well ended up as a serious injury for the Warriors’ big man. There’s no other way to go about analyzing it.
  • If the offensive player needs room to land, the defensive player should be given the opportunity to move himself. Harden should know this better than most.

This series isn’t limited to just a couple examples of the Rockets’ dirty tactics.

  • Was Harden attempting to retaliate for Green injuring his eye earlier in the series? No one knows.
  • What we do know is that the NBA clearly stated that this should have been a foul on Harden.
  • The other issue here is that Green’s scraping of Harden’s eye in Game 2 was clearly inadvertent. The NBA took no further action. It did point this foul out on the two-minute report.

Not to be outdone, Chris Paul almost seriously injured former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala late in Game 4.

  • The good news here is that Iggy avoided a serious injury and was able to go for Game 5.
  • But kicking under a dude’s knee as he’s up in the air is about as ugly as it gets. Paul should no better.
  • Though, Paul himself is not a stranger to these types of underhanded tactics. Just ask LeBron James.

If this series does go seven (as we predict), there’s going to be a lot of questionable incidents moving forward.

It’s time for the NBA to take action. If it means warning the Warriors, too, that’s fine. It would just be all sorts of unfortunate if a serious injury were to occur to a star player because of dirty tactics.