Draymond Green gets Celtics protection in Game 2

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SAN FRANCISCO — Draymond Green arrived at Chase Center in Game 2 on Sunday with the intent of “setting the tone” for the Golden State Warriors’ defense. Sure enough, he threw Al Horford on the hardwood to force a jump ball on his first possession.

The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 107-88 in the Finals with the intensity of Green and the shooting of Stephen Curry in a game. While Curry sealed the victory in the third quarter with what Warriors coach Steve Kerr called an “amazing” performance, Green’s physical antics over several games caught the attention of referees and the Celtics.

Midway through the first quarter, Green ran past Grant Williams while heading over a screen, fouling the Celtics forward in the process. On the dead ball that followed, Green received a technical foul for repeatedly pushing Williams away.

Then, shortly before halftime, Green tangled up with Jaylen Brown as the Celtics guard attempted a 3-pointer. Called for a defensive foul, Green landed awkwardly with his right foot near Brown’s head. When Brown disputed the extra touch, Green yanked on Brown’s shorts as he stood up.

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The two players had to be separated, although both avoided extra discipline. If the referee issues two technical fouls for a minor brawl, Green will be ejected from a one-round game at halftime.

“I just want to play basketball,” Brown said. “I felt like that was an illegal game. I felt like they could have called it, but they gave it up regardless from a technical point of view. But I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing there. Someone put their leg in on top of your head and then he tried to pull my pants down. I don’t know what that was about. That’s what Draymond Green did. He’d do whatever it took to win. He’d pull you, he Will catch you, he’ll try to screw the game up because that’s what he does for their team. It’s no surprise.”

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was assessed a technical foul of his own midway through the third quarter when the referee missed a clear tentacle foul while Green was defending the perimeter for Brown. Udoka said he “deliberately” received technical requests to let the referees “understand how I was feeling throughout the game in a demonstrative way.”

As for the pre-half spat, Udoka suggested Green’s prior technical foul influenced the decision not to evaluate Green and Brown’s double technical.

“I’m not surprised there aren’t double-tech calls,” Udoka said. “Given the circumstances at the time, it’s not surprising at all.”

Former NBA referee Steve Harvey supported the officials’ decision on an ABC broadcast, claiming that knowledge of Green’s prior skills is “part of good refereeing.”

“You have to take into account that a player definitely has a technical foul,” Harvey said. “That’s enough to call a double [technical] And eject a player? Personally, I wouldn’t say anything, let it defuse. “

Of course, Green is no stranger to operating in gray areas during the playoffs. He was ejected from Game 1 for a flagrant foul when he pulled Brandon Clark out of the air with his jersey in the second round against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Most notably, the seven-time All-Defensive team struggled multiple times in the 2016 playoffs, knocking Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams twice in the Western Conference finals Below the belt and then suspended in Game 5 of the Finals for tapping Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James in the groin.

“We know what Draymond brings to the game,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who played with Green on USA Basketball’s gold medal-winning team at the Tokyo Olympics. “I like that about him. Obviously, I’ve played with him. We try to match that. I just don’t think we benefit from doubt when we try to use that physicality.”

Green had nine points, five rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes, a modest line that didn’t really reflect his impact on Game 2. Even though he was only called for three fouls, Golden State’s blowout advantage meant both teams rested their starters for much of the fourth quarter.

In a strategic shift, Kerr deployed Green more frequently as the primary defender for Tatum and Brown in an effort to disrupt the Celtics’ offensive rhythm. After scoring 120 points in Game 1, the Celtics scored just 88 points in Game 2, the fewest of their 2022 playoffs. Boston committed 18 turnovers on the night and went 30-for-80, while Brown was the worst in the playoffs, going 5-for-17. The Celtics will try to restore their offensive chemistry in Game 3 at TD Garden on Wednesday.

“[The Warriors] They changed the lineup,” Brown said. “They tried to put [Green] For me, it’s about doing it, screwing up the game, pulling me, grabbing me, and in general, increasing the intensity. I feel like they escaped a lot tonight, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of the next game. All these things, gimmicks, tricks, we all have to be a smarter team and a stronger team. “

There are other numbers, but the tweet there sums it all up nicely. The Celtics couldn’t miss the fourth quarter, starting with Jaylen Brown and continuing down to Derrick White, Marcus Smart, Peyton Pritchard(?!) and Horford, They hit one after the other to complete 26 runs on the eve of his 36th birthday. He made 6 of 8 3-pointers and the Celtics hit the first seven long shots of the fourth quarter to end the game with a 17-0 run before the final buzzer.

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