The Golden State Warriors had a tumultuous season in 2016-2017, marred with injuries, player departures, and locker room turmoil. The season was particularly tough for Draymond Green, one of the Warriors’ most important players, who was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. While the suspension was seen as a negative at the time, it ended up being a turning point for the team, helping to save their season. In this article, we’ll examine how Draymond Green’s suspension saved the Warriors’ season and how the team was able to overcome adversity to win the championship.
- Background on the Warriors’ season leading up to the suspension
- Overview of Draymond Green’s suspension
- Details of what led to the suspension
- Impact on the team in Game 5
- Initial reactions from fans and analysts
- Changes to the Warriors’ gameplan in Game 6
- Improvements in the Cavaliers’ performance in Game 6
- Pressure on the Warriors to win Game 7
- Adjustments made by the Warriors in Game 7
- Performances by key players in Game 7
- Emotions after winning the championship
- Reflections on the importance of the suspension
- Legacy of the Warriors’ championship season
- Impact on Draymond Green’s career and reputation
- Recap of the Warriors’ journey to the championship
- Final thoughts on the significance of Draymond Green’s suspension
The Golden State Warriors had a rocky start to the 2016-2017 NBA season. The team had lost key players in the offseason, including Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, and Festus Ezeli, and was struggling to find its footing. Despite these setbacks, the Warriors still had a strong core of players, including reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. However, as the season progressed, tensions began to rise within the locker room, with reports of conflicts between Green and other players.
On June 9th, 2016, the Warriors faced off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. In the fourth quarter of the game, Green and LeBron James got into a scuffle, with Green appearing to strike James in the groin. After a review, Green was assessed a flagrant foul, his fourth of the postseason, which triggered an automatic one-game suspension.
Green’s suspension for Game 5 was a devastating blow to the Warriors, who were already facing a 3-1 deficit in the series. Green had been a critical part of the team’s success all season, providing an intense defensive presence and versatile offensive skills. Without him, the Warriors were forced to make significant adjustments to their gameplan.
In Game 6, the Warriors shifted their strategy, opting for a smaller lineup that put more emphasis on ball movement and perimeter shooting. However, the Cavaliers were able to capitalize on Green’s absence, with LeBron James delivering a historic performance and leading the Cavaliers to a 115-101 victory.
With their backs against the wall, the Warriors faced a must-win Game 7 on their home court. The team responded with one of their most impressive performances of the season, with Curry, Thompson, and Andre Iguodala all stepping up to fill the void left by Green’s suspension. In the end, the Warriors emerged victorious, winning the championship in a thrilling 93-89 victory.
The significance of Green’s suspension cannot be overstated. While it was a difficult moment for the Warriors at the time, it ultimately served as a wake-up call