Draymond Green is eager to get back out on the court for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night after missing a series-clinching opportunity on Monday. The Golden State Warriors held a 3-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in front of their rabid fans, but LeBron James and Kyrie Irving willed their team to a 112-97 victory to send the series back to northeast Ohio.
Green’s absence was the biggest story-line of the night, even if some of his teammates denied that it played a factor in the outcome. Draymond could not have disagreed more.
On Wednesday, Green spoke to the media about his suspension and the tough spot he put the Warriors in, taking responsibility for his actions. He also demonstrated the extreme confidence he has in himself and his impact on the court.
From his press conference, via Fox Sports:
“I let my teammates down … I have a strong belief that if I play Game 5, we win.”
We’ll never know what would’ve happened if Draymond had played on Monday, but the Warriors have certainly been much better with him on the court. During this postseason, Golden State has scored 27.4 more points per 100 possessions with Green playing than without him.
“I think my teammates fought and didn’t play well, but still with six minutes to go, down six points, continued to battle and battle. It’s on me to come out and help that battle.
“At this point, it doesn’t matter anymore. We lost Game 5, we’re here for Game 6. … I have to be better for my teammates as a leader of this team.
“I owe it to my teammates to come back and give all that I have.”
He’ll have to reign in his intensity a bit; if Green receives another flagrant foul tomorrow evening in Cleveland, he’d be suspended for a potential Game 7 back at Oracle.
Of course, if the Warriors win Game 6, that won’t be a concern.
[button width=”full” button size=”bigger” color=”custom” align=”center” textcolor=”#ffffff” texthcolor=”#ffffff” bgcolor=”#8b0000″ link=”https://clutchpoints.com/tom-izzo-draymond-green-missing-game-5/”]NEXT: Tom Izzo speaks on Draymond Green missing Game 5[/button]