OAKLAND - Draymond Green will watch his Warriors face off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers from a suite at the Oakland A’s game next door to Oracle Arena on Monday night. The All-Star forward should be bodying up against James with the hopes of bringing a second straight NBA Championship home to Golden State fans, but he’s been suspended and is barred from the building during the game.
Rules are rules and Green has to pay the price for his actions. But so does head coach Steve Kerr and the rest of the Warriors roster.
Per league rule, Green’s suspension comes with a caveat. Not only is he not available to the Warriors, but they are also not allowed to replace him on the active roster, meaning someone has to sit out as a healthy scratch.
“Ian (Clark) will be inactive,” Kerr said before the game. “I think it’s unfortunate. It’s a rule I would like to see the league change, frankly.”
It’s not so much the fact that the Warriors will play down a man that irks Kerr, it’s that Clark is being punished for something that Green did on his own. Without his defensive stalwart up front, Kerr has to turn to second-year forward James Michael McAdoo with his last roster spot, leaving Clark in street clothes on the bench as the odd man out.
“Ian has been working his entire life on his game and preparing,” Kerr pleaded. “And here it is the NBA Finals and because Draymond is suspended, I can’t suit Ian up. I don’t think it’s fair. I think that’s something that should be addressed, and maybe that’s something that we can bring up with the league down the road.”
Clark has played in 15 of the Warriors 21 playoff games this season. The reserve guard is averaging 4.2 points on 48.1 percent shooting from the field in 10 minutes per night. McAdoo has played in just six games during Golden State’s run to the Finals, but Kerr might need his size in Green’s absence.