Draymond Green entered Game 2 of the NBA Finals wanting to play something other than basketball, and the Boston Celtics had to lose themselves amid a series of controversial calls and a reckless coup.
Golden State Warriors striker with a body Jason TatumGrant Williams wrestled, stabbed Jaylen Brown and crushed Al Horford. Green was almost sent off in the last minute before the end of the first half. Instead of responding aggressively around the basket, Boston put in an embarrassing effort in the third quarter and a loss 107-88.
“They raised [intensity]And we were looking around and expecting someone to rescue us, said Brown, and it wouldn’t happen on their land. We have to put up with our excuses and we don’t really have excuses.
Green forced the jump ball into the game’s first possession, setting a defensive tone for the Warriors, then set out to drag the Celtics into the mud. He got his first technical foul minutes into his night, when he tackled Williams (and somehow drew a foul), he didn’t stop pushing the Celtics forward.
The ensuing free throw gave the Celtics a 19-13 lead in their lead to nine, but the number of seven turns and eight fouls resulted in a 31-30 deficit at the end of the first quarter. Brown scored 13 of Boston’s first 22 points but made his second mistake in what he called a “mock call” eight minutes into the game. He wasn’t the same after sitting out the remainder of the first quarter, scoring just four points in a 1-for-11 shootout.
“I don’t feel like I touched Gary Payton and I expressed it, but they called me wrong,” said Brown, who was the first game comeback champion in Boston. “That made me feel comfortable. We couldn’t let that’s why in the second half I was unable to be effective, but it definitely changed the course of the match with that fake call.”
The score swung five points in either team’s direction in the second quarter and settled on Golden State’s 52-50 lead in the first half. But not before Green damages Brown, props his legs on Brown’s head, and pushes and pulls his shorts when Brown gets up to his feet. An official review decided that it was not worth the expulsion.
“I’ve got differential treatment, and I’m enjoying it and embracing it,” Green admitted directly on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” after the win, all but to confirm what former NBA referee Steve Jaffe said during the broadcast — that the ruling crew should take into account. His first technical error when determining the second.
“I feel this was illegal play,” Brown replied. “I feel like they could have called it, but they let it go in terms of technique either way. But I don’t know what I was supposed to do there. Someone put their legs over your head, and then tried to get my pants down, I don’t know what’s going on. around it.
“That’s what Draymond Green does. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’s going to pull you, he’s going to catch you, he’s going to try to ruin the game, because that’s what he’s doing to their team. Nothing to be surprised about. Nothing to surprise me. our capabilities.”
Instead of answering the bell, Boston folded after the first half. As the Warriors pushed their lead to 67-56 in the middle of the third quarter, Celtics coach Im Odoka tried to inspire his team with a technical blunder. The absence of the whistle when Green criticized at Brown was the last straw for him with the match referee.
“I just told them what I felt throughout the game in a way that was intentionally illustrative to get technique,” said Odoka, whose team’s neglect of the ball and unwillingness to move it was the difference, said Odoka.
“I could see it from a mile away,” Horford said of Odoka’s technology. “Only in the whole first half, it was definitely different. We knew it was going to be different, but we kind of wanted to keep going.”
And the Celtics hit three consecutive throws to reduce Golden State’s lead to 68-62. On their next possession, Horford put Stephen Curry 3 feet from the basket and chose not to attack the rim, throwing the ball into traffic. Boston’s absence of power has never been more evident. The gates opened then, as the Warriors closed another 4:17 of the third quarter in a 19-2 run, capped by 39-foot Jordan Bull.
Plain and simple: The Celtics let Green and the referees get their heads over.
“Of course he will go out and try to set the tone, but we weren’t very strong with the ball, looking for fouls rather than going up and playing, especially with their lack of edge protection,” Odoka said.
“I kind of felt like we didn’t benefit from the doubt when we were trying to play with that physical strength,” said Tatum, who scored 28 points a team-high but managed to get one basket after halftime.
Golden State boosted its lead to 29 minutes in the fourth quarter, and Odoka pulled off his start. When all was said and done, the Warriors scored 33 points from Boston’s 19 turns — most of them unrestricted — and the Celtics found only six shots at the edge and finished in a dismal 7 for 29 (24% FG) from 5-19 feet.
None of this was what Boston would expect from the Celtics, who looked closer to the version that stalled for a few minutes than the Eastern Conference Finals, than the physically fittest team in the NBA during the playoffs. This is what happens when you let Green dictate the rules of engagement.
“It’s important for me to come out that way in this aspect,” he said. “I have to keep doing it in this series. It won’t get any easier. It’s just going to get tougher. I have to eat that from the other couple cracks.”
What it looks like in Game 3 would be amazing, to say the least, but Boston can’t afford to play its game.
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