Thursday night was a relatively quiet one in the NBA, as only three games were on the schedule, headlined by a Lakers-Bucks tilt that saw the defending champs take down Giannis Antetokounmpo and company in Milwaukee. The nightcaps featured two games that, ultimately, got out of hand as the Jazz rolled past New Orleans for a seventh straight win and the Knicks blowing out the Warriors in San Francisco.
However, the latter of those two results was directly impacted by what became the story of the night, as Draymond Green was tossed at the end of the first half for yelling “f*ck that” at rookie teammate James Wiseman as they got set on defense and the referee thinking that was meant for him and giving him his second technical foul. Green immediately was pointing at Wiseman to indicate he wasn’t yelling at the refs but the rookie, and Steve Kerr and Stephen Curry were both left dumbfounded by the decision. It was both absurd and hilarious from an objective point of view, but given the clear impact of Green on this Warriors team, their second half struggles were, at least in some ways, tied to the absence of their star big man.
After the game, Green sent a text to Marc Spears of The Undefeated to ask a few questions about why his technical couldn’t be discussed as a crew and taken away, which is a fair question.
Draymond Green to @TheUndefeated also asks: “I would also like to know what happens with something like that? That can’t just be ok. That one game can determine a lot for us. Also for the morale of very young team. Tough tough situation.” https://t.co/imhBvqimWw
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) January 22, 2021
As for the official explanation from the referees, well, there wasn’t much of one as the pool conversation with crew chief Ben Taylor didn’t exactly yield much that will satisfy anyone.
POOL REPORT ON SECOND TECHNICAL FOUL WITH 1:04 REMAINING TO PLAY IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE NEW YORK KNICKS/GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS GAME: pic.twitter.com/dVgsOHQ2KK
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) January 22, 2021
That the referees didn’t at least consider coming together and talking through the technical is one of the great frustrations players have with officiating in the league. Just like the players, officials are going to make mistakes, but the hard stance they sometimes take in refusing to acknowledge that and taking the time to possibly fix that mistake in real time drives players like Green crazy. It was a critical moment in the game and while the Knicks, who are riding a three-game win streak of their own, may very well have won, for an 8-7 team in the West like Golden State, each game is critical to their playoff hopes as Green noted.