“I’ve Earned Differential Treatment” | Did Draymond Green Draw A Technical Foul On Purpose?

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors amped up their level of force and physicality on the defensive end, led by their emotional and defensive leader Draymond Green, to even the NBA Finals at a game apiece. From the opening tip Green was on full tilt and let the Celtics know they’d get nothing easy. Green drew a technical foul early in the first quarter, and with 54 seconds remaining in the second quarter he and the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown got tangled up. A second technical would have meant an ejection. But when the refs refused to issue Green a second tech, he knew the game within the game was his.

“It’s the NBA finals. Like I said, I wear my badge of honor,” Green said. “It’s not that I’m saying they necessarily treat me different. I’ve earned differential treatment. I enjoy that. I embrace that.”

Green is at his best when he straddles the edge of control. The challenge, of course, is he can sometimes get out of control and cost his team. As he did in the conference semifinals against the Grizzlies when he was ejected from Game 1. Of course everyone remembers he 2016 Finals when he was suspended for swinging at LeBron James’ groin area.

The dustup with Brown in the second quarter would have likely warranted a technical had it been another player in another game. But knowing Green already had one, referee Zach Zarba exercised restraint.

Once that happened Green was able to push the envelope all game long with illegal screens, off-ball grabbing, holding and all sorts of physical play with the benefit of the doubt that he would be allowed to do so with impunity.

Green was able to fluster and frustrate the Celtics, even though to a man they are all aware of his role and antics.

“That’s what Draymond Green does,” Brown said. “He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’ll pull you, he’ll grab you, he’ll try to muck the game up because that’s what he does for their team. It’s nothing to be surprised about. Nothing I’m surprised about. He raised his physicality to try to stop us. And we’ve got to raise ours.”

Green and the Warriors were the aggressors in Game 2, and as such received the benefit of the doubt.

“They switched the lineup,” Brown said. “They tried to put [Green] on me, be physical, muck the game up, pull me, grab me and overall raise the intensity. I feel like they got away with a lot of stuff tonight, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of the next game. All that stuff, the gimmicks, the tricks, we’ve just got to be the smarter team, be the more physical team.”

The Celtics can’t allow themselves to get caught up in perceived no-calls or whatever mind games Green is playing. This is the NBA Finals, and they have a chance to win a championship. They must do whatever is necessary to win.

Game 3 is on Wednesday in Boston, and the Celtics will need to play 48 minutes with physicality and aggression. Just like Green and the Warriors did in Game 2.