No one was impacted more by the stop-and-go parade to the foul line than Dubs forward Draymond Green. Golden State’s star defender played just 23 minutes total on Saturday night, May 6, due to foul issues. He received his fifth-personal foul by the middle of the third quarter.
Green spoke to how the flow of his game, and the game of his team as a whole, was impacted by all the interruptions in the action. He noted particularly how fouls flipped the script of a contest the Warriors led by 11 points more than four minutes into the second quarter before surrendering a 22-2 run that put the Dubs behind the Lakers for good.
“The game stopped on the free throw line every time,” Green said. “It is what it is. Game over now. Don’t matter if I’m satisfied [with how it was officiated].”
A reporter pressed further, asking Green what the mental consequences were to all the foul calls and resulting game stoppages.
“It’s frustrating,” Green replied.
The media also asked Green how he might adjust to stay out of foul trouble in the games ahead.
“I won’t adapt,” Green responded. “I’m gonna keep playing the same defense I’ve been playing for 11 years.”
Draymond Green, Warriors Hindered by Issues With Refs During NBA Playoffs
Green produced his worst showing of these playoffs by far on Saturday, putting up just two points, two rebounds and four assists for a total of -27 in the plus/minus category on the night. It wasn’t the first time issues with referees have hindered Green over the Dubs’ 10 postseason games in 2023.
Officials ejected Green from Game 2 of the Warriors’ opening-round series against the Sacramento Kings for stomping on the chest of Domantas Sabonis. The NBA league office then suspended Green for the following game after the Dubs already trailed 0-2.
Green’s problems with the refs followed Golden State into the second round, though there was plenty of blame to go around the Warriors’ sideline Saturday night in L.A.
“We were in pretty good shape [in the second quarter]. That’s when we lost our poise,” Dubs head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I think we had four technicals in the first half.”
Foul Disparity Exists Between Warriors, Lakers During Series
While Golden State, and Green specifically, must take responsibility for some of their own fouling issues, there is no question that a disparity of whistles has existed throughout the first three games of the second-round series.
In total, officials have called 69 fouls on the Warriors as opposed to 48 fouls on the Lakers. Golden State has attempted a total of 39 free throws, while Los Angeles has hoisted 83 tries from the free throw line.
The greatest disparity in fouls called came in Game 1, when the Dubs were assessed 24 fouls and the Lakers committed only 12. The largest gap in free throw attempts came in Game 3, when the Lakers shot 37 times from the line and the Warriors attempted only 17 free throws.
Some of the disparity is to be expected, as the Lakers are a larger and more physical team that is less equipped than the Warriors to shoot from behind the 3-point line. That said, Green was clearly frustrated during his postgame press conference with the lack of free throw equity thus far in the series and after a close examination of the numbers, it isn’t difficult to understand why.