The Golden State Warriors have been dealt a major blow ahead of game five of the NBA Finals after Draymond Green was handed a one-game suspension.
The power forward was given the ban after he was tangled up with LeBron James in the Warriors' 108-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four.
James stepped over Green as he fell to the floor but appeared to swing an arm out and hit him in the groin area.
It was a play LeBron immediately took exception to and the two players squared up to each other but werre immediately separated before things got out of hand.
The play was reviewed by the league after the game and they have now decided to asses the Dubs star with a flagrant one, which automatically triggers a one-game suspension for him.
Green fell foul of the NBA's cumulative points system after picking up multiple flagrant foul calls in the playoffs.
An incident with Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder - where he inadvertently kicked him in the groin - saw Draymond pick up a up a flagrant two and a third point. A fourth point automatically triggers a suspension.
"The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game," NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe said in a statement. "While Draymond Green's actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for game five."
The league called Green's action a "retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin" of James.
The points system also occurs in the regular season but all players are reset to zero points when the postseason begins.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr was critical of the system and doesn't understand why it remains the same for players in the first round and those in the Finals.
"I do think it's curious that somebody who gets knocked out in the first round and who's been on vacation for seven weeks is under the same penalty system as somebody who is still playing in The Finals now," Kerr said.
"I'm not sure why that is the case. It seems like a strange rule. It's not anything we're going to bring up with the league. Maybe it's something to talk about in the offseason. It does seem a little strange."
Vandeweghe, however, defended the league's policy and said it must remain consistent regardless of what stage of the season we're at. But he did acknowledge that it is a difficult decision to implement in the Finals.
"Of course it makes it tough, there's no question," VanDeWeghe said. "That weighs on your mind. But again, you can't make an exception because of that."
LeBron was issued with a technical foul on the play but will take to the floor in the Cavs' elimination game.
The absence of Green gives the Cavaliers some hope of stealing a victory at the Oracle Arena and staying alive in the series.
Despite the loss of their defensive lynchpin and emotional leader, you can expect the Warriors to be galvanised by this and be more determined than ever to wrap up their second consecutive championship. Game five just got a little more interesting.