SAN FRANCISCO — Draymond Green was trying to set the tone early with his defensive intensity… at least that’s how you see it if you’re the Warriors.
The Celtics saw it as Green pushing the line of clean play to get under their skin. Then, after drawing a technical (on a play with Grant Williams), pushing that boundary a little more because Green knew the referees didn’t want to give him another technical and eject him.
Pushing that boundary a little more like trying to pull down Jaylen Brown‘s shorts.
It happened on this play, which was ruled a common foul on Green with nothing else.
Should Draymond have been ejected here? pic.twitter.com/gEiIij9dnD
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 6, 2022
“On that situation, Draymond fouled me on a three and put his legs on my head or whatever,” Brown said. “I tried to get up. But that’s what they’re going to do. That’s what he’s going to do. He’s going to try to muck the game up, try to raise the level of intensity…
“But I don’t know what I was supposed to do there. Somebody got their legs on the top of your head and then he tried to pull my pants down. I don’t know what that was about. That’s what Draymond Green does. 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.”
Green steps back into Brown after the shot and they both go to the ground. Green gives Brown a little “get off me” shove, Brown gets up first and says a few words over him, and then Green does grab his pants and pulls them.
It looks like an attempted pantsing.
Green doesn’t see it that way — and neither did the officials, who reviewed the aftermath and said there was nothing.
“So with the first tech [earlier], it is what it is. That’s not going to stop me from being aggressive or doing what I do on the basketball court,” Green said. “Just got to live with the results.”
If Green didn’t already have a technical — so a second got him ejected — would the referees have given him one there? Maybe. Probably. But the refs are right here in that this wasn’t ejection-worthy. This isn’t the 2016 NBA Finals.
Green had been building up to the first technical from the opening tip, playing good — but not always clean — intense defense. He was trying to get under the skin of the Celtics. If he did not have a technical, the referees may have given him one here as sort of a culmination of everything up to that point.
A first tech is supposed to be a “yellow card” style warning to get a player to back off, but Green knows they don’t want to give that second technical, so he keeps pushing the line.
Expect Green to get a “warm” Boston welcome in the TD Garden for Game 3.
And expect the Celtics to come out and play with more physicality.