When the Sacramento Kings play the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, the crowd will be ready to jeer Draymond Green, but they will have to do so while he is dressed for the streets.
Green only made his five-on-five comeback this week after suffering an ankle ailment in late September. Coach Steve Kerr decided that Green would miss the team’s second game, a playoff rematch at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, on Thursday because he felt that it was not enough practice. Green’s ankle looks to have recovered nicely, which is wonderful news. Unfortunately, his conditioning hasn’t returned yet.
The revelation may surprise supporters of the Kings, as in April of last year, Green became the state capital’s most notorious enemy after Domantas Sabonis grabbed his ankle and he stomped the big man’s chest in vengeance. In the first-round Warriors-Kings series, which Golden State won in seven games, Green was suspended for one game. At every game, he was loudly jeered, and Green openly incited the supporters in return.
(For the record, Public Enemy No. 3 is the person who created the “spinnocoli” pie at Zelda’s Pizza, Public Enemy No. 2 is former referee Tim Donaghy, and Public Enemy No. 3 is former mayor Kevin Johnson.)
Thus, the Warriors are expected to start Friday night with their incredibly small starting lineup, which consists of Andrew Wiggins and Chris Paul in the frontcourt and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt. Given that Sabonis is one of the smallest centers in the league, the Kings aren’t quite as big of a size disadvantage as the Suns were on Wednesday night. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Jonathan Kuminga starts at power forward.
When the Warriors go to Houston on Sunday and/or play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Monday, Kerr and the club “hope” that Green will be available.