Game 1 gave us one of the more bizarre endings to an NBA finals game we have seen. With the game clearly out of reach, Tristan Thompson was ejected from the game. It is not clear exactly what Thompson did to warrant an ejection based on the replays. The referee appears to give an elbow motion noting Thompson threw an elbow at Shaun Livingston.
In typical Draymond Green fashion, Green approached Thompson on his way to exit the court. Thompson responded by shoving the ball, and his hand into Green’s face. From there, members of the Cavs and Warriors pushed each other, but nothing serious resulted. Thompson pointed to the locker room, and yelled at Green on the way out likely signaling for the Warriors big man to meet him in the back after the game.
It will be worth watching whether the NBA takes disciplinary action against Thompson for Game 2. Given the ejection looked a bit extreme, it seems unlikely Thompson would receive further discipline for the next game.
Here’s a look at the play that resulted in Thompson being ejected, prior to his exchange with Green.
Here’s a look at Green antagonizing Thompson after his ejection.
ESPN’s Royce Young tweeted about whether fans can expect Thompson to be suspended.
“So if the NBA even considers a suspension for Tristan Thompson for Game 2 for not leaving in a timely manner, maybe take into consideration that it all started with an absolutely ridiculous ejection,” Young tweeted.
ESPN’s Chris Haynes noted that Livingston might have prevented Green from doing something that would have gotten him suspended by pulling his teammate away from Thompson.
“You can’t ignore Shaun Livingston restraining Draymond Green from retaliating on Tristan Thompson with a potential punch. He might helped Green avoid a suspension,” Haynes tweeted.
This angle shows Thompson yelling at Green, then pointing to the locker room.
After the game, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue noted Thompson took exception to Livingston trying to take a shot with two seconds left, while the Warriors had already won the game.
About a minute prior to the altercation, Green was seen taunting the Cavs as this video shows.
Here’s a look at Thompson heading to the locker room.
Green and Thompson may be thankful because the game will continue to be defined by J.R. Smith’s decision to run out the clock during the final seconds of the fourth quarter. George Hill missed a free throw with the game tied, and Smith got the offensive rebound. Instead of going back up with a shot, Smith dribbled the ball to the three-point line as time expired. LeBron James was clearly perplexed as to what Smith was doing. Smith obviously thought the Cavs were leading, and wanted the time to expire.
James had a career high 50 points, but the Cavs still came up short in overtime. Cleveland will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss, and even the series in Game 2.