Report: Cavaliers wanted Draymond Green suspended two games

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The Cavaliers reportedly pushed hard to get Draymond Green suspended for smacking at LeBron James‘ groin.

Lo and behold, Green was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

So, Cleveland go its way?

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

The Cavs wanted him suspended for two games. I can tell you that. They wanted it to be a flagrant 2 and to have him suspended for Game 5 and Game 6.

The league got it right. The retroactively assigned flagrant 1 triggered a one-game suspension due to Green’s prior playoff flagrants. A flagrant 2, which would’ve triggered a two-game suspension, would’ve been too harsh for Green’s retaliation.

I also suspect the Cavaliers probably knew that. But by pushing for a flagrant 2, they framed a flagrant 1 as a compromise outcome – much the same way Green and Steve Kerr said Green’s flagrant 1 for kicking Steven Adams‘ groin should have been rescinded. The NBA upgraded it to a flagrant 2 – another compromise decision when a straight suspension appeared to be on the table.

Lobbying the NBA on these decisions has become part of a championship pursuit. The Cavs had the advantage of facts on their side, but by aiming high, they successfully framed the argument in their favor – and it paid off in Game 5.