With Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green suspended for Cavs v Warriors Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, fans of the team are concerned regarding the possible line-up to counter Cleveland for Monday night?s game. Green was suspended following his Thursday night altercation with LeBron James which resulted in the NBA issuing him a flagrant foul 1 for his below-the-belt hit on James during Game 4.
While there are several options for the Warriors, speculations are adrift that small forward Andre Iguodala or possibly Kevin Looney will likely be taking Green?s position. According to CBSSports, Iguodala could be slided into the starting lineup of the Warriors. Iguodala, who was one of the best players for two consecutive Finals, could possibly give Warriors the much needed defence against James in Green?s absence. Besides, this will push Harrison Barnes to the power forward position and maintain Golden State’s ability to switch 1-through-4 with its starting lineup.
There are also speculations that Shaun Livingston will be the one going in for Green as reported by Sports Illustrated. Since Livingston is a quality perimeter defender, he can switch onto James without changing Iguodala?s customary role. Though he isn?t much of a shooter, his ball-handling ability could help Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson take the early lead.
Another option that the Warriors have is to use reserve forward James Michael McAdoo, who came out of nowhere in Game 4 scoring two points in seven minutes. Still, Brandon Rush is another option who has been out of Golden State’s rotation in the playoffs, but started a significant stretch of the season when Barnes was injured. As Sports Illustrated puts it, a ?capable shooter with good size for a wing, starting Rush would help the Warriors keep their floor spacing on offense and their ability to switch defensively, while also keeping Iguodala in his standard role.
Despite such speculations, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gave no indications as to who will likely replace Green in the Cavs vs Warriors Game 5.
?I found out [about the suspension] right near the end of practice,? Kerr told reporters Sunday. ?So we?ll meet as a staff after practice and discuss what our starting lineup and rotation will look like.?
Earlier that day, Kerr said that he expects to play 12 players in Game 5, the maximum he will have available, as Green must fill one of his 13 active spots.
However, no single player would be good enough to take Green?s position who is averaging a team-high 38.1 MPG during the Finals. Entering Game 5, he had just missed one game all year and besides Curry?s record shooting, Green? consistent availability and production was one of the key reasons driving Golden State?s 73-win season.