Column: The kick was no good

The top sports stories in another Weekend That Was:

5. Florida, Florida State and Georgia are three of the 16 teams that advance to NCAA Division I softball super regions after capturing regional events all three hosted.

4. Sergio Garcia outlasts Brooks Koepka in a playoff to win the PGA Byron Nelson Invitational in Irving, Texas. It is Garcia’s first PGA Tour win since 2012.

3. Nikita Kucherov scores with under four minutes left in regulation to tie it, then Tyler Johnson deflects a shot off wrist shot by Jason Garrison that beats goalie Marc-Andre Fleury just 53 seconds into overtime, lifting the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking a 3-2 Eastern Conference series lead.

2. The Toronto Raptors bounce back to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 99-84, at home in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals to cut their deficit in that series to 2-1. And in a game remembered for Draymond Green’s kick to the groin of Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams after a missed shot, the Thunder roll to a 133-105 rout of the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, giving the Thunder a 2-1 series lead.

1. So much for back-to-back Triple Crown winners: On an awful, muddy track at Pimlico in Baltimore, Exaggerator, ridden by jockey Kent Desormeaux, storms down the back stretch to overtake unbeaten Nyquist and win the Preakness on Saturday. Cherry Wine sneaks in at the end to take second from Nyquist. It all happens on a day in which two horses lost their lives during undercard races at Pimlico.

Our topic of discussion: 2. The kick felt all over the NBA.

For a player as talented as Draymond Green, the incident Sunday night involving him and Steven Adams of the Thunder was totally absurd. There’s no way you can defend a kick to anyone’s groin when every angle showed intent.

Let’s call it what it was: Frustration. 

The Golden State Warriors were having a bad night and Green was being heavily defended by the Oklahoma City interior. He missed the shot and Adams was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Green’s worst got the best of him.

The worst part of all this is how Green and his coach, Steve Kerr, are defending the play, calling it “an accident.” There was nothing that accidental about it. No one flails quite like that when they lose the ball on the way up for a shot and then kicks another player in the groin. I’m pretty sure that Adams was an unsuspecting party.

Green was assessed a “Flagrant 1” foul for his actions, but not thrown out of the game. Figure, those in the NBA office will have their say when they see the film.

In 40 years of being involved in sports, I’ve seen my share of accidental shots to the groin. And to be honest, I’ve felt my share of them, too.

But I knew when they were accidental. They all were in each case I encountered.

This isn’t. Flailing doesn’t equal an impending accident normally. Draymond Green was frustrated. And so were the Warriors, who have the unenviable task of taking on an athletically gifted team with an unusual point guard (Russell Westbrook, who had 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds) and a megastar big man (Kevin Duran, who had 33 points and eight rebounds).

It will be a shock if Green does not get suspended one game for the incident. And if he is lost for Game 4 in Oklahoma City, figure things will be even harder than they are for Golden State on a foreign court. The Thunder, not to a final since the 2011-12 season, mean business and are showing why they feel the time is now, especially with Durant’s pending free agency.

The Warriors knew how good the Thunder were going into this series. They didn’t need Draymond Green to do what he did on Sunday night.

And if they lose him for Game 4, well to many Warriors fans, players, coaches and personnel, that would be really one swift kick to the ...

Mark Blumenthal is a writer for the Palatka Daily News. You can reach him at mblumenthal@palatkadailynews.com or on Twitter @diabolicalmarky