The Golden State Warriors were, for probably the first time in a long time, a worried franchise following their game three loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night.
Not only are they trailing their Western Conference Final matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder 2-1, but in the wake of Draymond Green's apparent punt to Steven Adams' groin, the Dubs feared that their All-Star power forward might suffer the same fate as Cleveland's Dahntay Jones, who incurred a one-game suspension for a his own groin hit on Bismack Biyombo.
Had the Warriors lost Green for even one game of their series with the Thunder, it almost certainly would have been an insurmountable loss for the reining NBA champions.
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The former second-round draft pick finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and is the driving force behind Golden State's stingy defensive unit. His larger than life personality and ultra-competitive nature has also been credited as being the driving force behind the top seed's style of play.
To lose Green with their backs against the wall in the series would have been devastating. However, Steve Kerr and his troops don't need to worry anymore.
Though Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Green's actions were "unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," he seemed to agree with Green's explanation that he was exaggerating his shooting motion.
A fine of $25,000 and an upgrade from a flagrant foul one to a flagrant foul two is all the damage that Green will receive. However, after collecting three flagrant foul points this postseason, it will only take one more to see the Dubs No. 23 suspended for one-game.
"During a game, players -- at times -- flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul," VanDeWeghe said. "But, Green's actions in this case warranted an additional penalty."
Green was adamant on Monday that NBA official Scott Foster told him that he believed the contact was accidental and he indeed, had no intention to hurt Adams.
"I said, 'Scott, how am I getting a flagrant because my leg went in the air trying to follow through on a shot?' He said, 'Draymond, I'm not saying it's intentional. Honestly, I don't think it was intentional at all. But you caught him in the groin area, so I have to give you a flagrant,'" Green said. "I didn't argue it. It said, 'OK, that's understandable.'"
Russell Westbrook and Adams both insinuated that they believed Green's actions to be premeditated, especially when they checked back on the replays.
"Yeah, [it was worse] from what I had in my mind," Adams said Monday. "Kind of confirmed it almost."
Game four at the Chesapeake Energy Arena takes place tonight and if the Warriors can't score the W, their legacy hangs in the balance.