The Golden State Warriors are hoping to get themselves back into title contention this season after two years of being out of the playoffs. There’s plenty of reason for optimism with Stephen Curry is coming off of a season where his performance down the stretch earned him MVP buzz and Klay Thompson’s eventual return to the lineup after ACL and Achilles injuries cost him the past two seasons.
Last year also saw the return of Draymond Green seemingly being everywhere, all the time on defense, which will again be critical to the Warriors regaining contender status. Part of Green’s value is the way he flies around and covers for mistakes others make, but this also leads to him living on the edge of being in control. We have seen on plenty of occasions what can happen when he loses that control, and unfortunately for Austin Rivers, that happened on Wednesday night in preseason action between Denver and Golden State when the Nuggets guard took a flying knee from Draymond to the ribs on a closeout.
Draymond was given a flagrant foul for this play on Austin Rivers. pic.twitter.com/3PgRn2IE6R
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 7, 2021
This is, I guess one could say, vintage Draymond, as his propensity for legs flailing about became a huge story back in 2016 when he was suspended for a game in the Finals for it. This is Green’s essence though, selling out so fully on a contest in the preseason that he can’t help but try to do anything to stop Rivers once he recognizes it’s a shot fake, even if that thing is sticking his leg out and ultimately kneeing Austin in the ribs.
Rivers would stay down for a bit, understandably, and Green was handed a rare preseason flagrant for a move that would’ve looked more at home in the Octagon than on the basketball court. Maybe it bodes well for the Warriors that Green is back to living on that knife’s edge, but Rivers was the unfortunate recipient of what happens when he falls to the wrong side.