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NBA Playoffs 2016: Oklahoma City Thunder's Enes Kanter could have been the difference maker against Golden State Warriors - no really!

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Cheaters never win, except in the NBA

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Love him or hate him, former Utah Jazz #3 draft pick Enes Kanter could have been a difference maker in the Western Conference Finals. No. I mean it. Lemme explain. It's not really about what Enes Kanter can actually do for the Oklahoma City Thunder. No, not at all. It's about what Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green did to him. Essentially, Draymond tripped him up during their Game 4 loss, and apparently, should have been called for a Flagrant foul. If he was to receive another one he is supposed to miss his next game. His next game would be in Game 5, a potential series close out attempt by OKC, as they are up 3-1. Of course, the NBA didn't address this play or suggest that it was a Flagrant foul at all. Because, why would they start following the rules they themselves had made at this stage?

Anyway, here's the trip:

And here's a breakdown of it from Adi Joseph, of The Sporting News:

Draymond Green kicked Steven Adams in the testicles and didn't get suspended, and that was fine because it was very difficult to tell if Green meant to kick Adams in the testicles.

The NBA gave Green a stern warning and a $25,000 fine and upgraded the foul to a Flagrant Foul 2, which meant any other flagrant foul would lead to a suspension.

* * *

That leg clasp, as pointed out by ESPN's Brian Windhorst (video via The Cauldron), is literally a textbook example of a Flagrant Foul 1. Intentional tripping is unnecessary and dangerous in much the same way as deliberate leg-flailing, which is why it gets the same penalty.

The rules say Green gets suspended for any flagrant, though. So he probably shouldn't play in Game 5, whether or not the NBA wants to admit it.

- Adi Joseph, The Sporting News, 2016

So while Joseph points out that it should be a Flagrant foul, and thus a suspension . . . they aren't going to upgrade it if Sam Amick's sources are legit. It's clear to me, but I'm a Dubs hater, and have hated them since the 80s. If we wish to pretend the that rules matter, then Dray shouldn't play in Game 5. And that would have been Kanter's greatest contribution to this Thunder team.

As for Enes, I did look at what he has done. A lot of us Jazz fans pointed out that he only played 8 minutes in the last game and as the stakes have been higher, we're seeing less and less of him this series.

GM MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK PRASB /Min +/- /Min OKC
1 vs DAL 23.80 16 13 1 0 0 30 1.26 15 0.63 W 38
2 vs DAL 18.80 6 8 0 1 0 15 0.80 -4 -0.21 L -1
3 @ DAL 21.57 21 8 1 1 1 32 1.48 17 0.79 W 29
4 @ DAL 25.95 28 6 0 0 0 34 1.31 6 0.23 W 11
5 vs DAL 12.37 5 0 1 0 0 6 0.49 0 0.00 W 14
6 @ SAS 18.58 6 4 0 0 0 10 0.54 -8 -0.43 L -32
7 @ SAS 18.57 12 8 0 0 3 23 1.24 -11 -0.59 W 1
8 vs SAS 18.55 8 5 0 1 0 14 0.75 -7 -0.38 L -4
9 vs SAS 28.32 11 8 0 0 0 19 0.67 9 0.32 W 14
10 @ SAS 30.13 8 13 0 0 3 24 0.80 8 0.27 W 4
11 vs SAS 21.17 7 7 0 1 0 15 0.71 8 0.38 W 14
12 @ GSW 18.05 8 6 0 1 1 16 0.89 2 0.11 W 6
13 @ GSW 14.82 6 2 1 0 1 10 0.67 -11 -0.74 L -27
14 vs GSW 18.12 10 12 1 0 0 23 1.27 -17 -0.94 W 28
15 vs GSW 8.55 1 2 0 0 0 3 0.35 6 0.70 W 24
297.33 153 102 5 5 9 274 0.92 13 13.57 119
19.82 10.20 6.80 0.33 0.33 0.60 18.27 0.87 7.93

Again, love him or hate him, it's at least conflicting to see one of our young Jazz guys playing so much farther in the playoffs than our entire team. I haven't seen a distinct relationship between him playing and his team doing poorly . . . it's gone both ways. But it would be cool if he just went out and goon'd some of the Warriors in Game 5. I would support that. I'm advocating for him being an agitatant and starting something. Whatever it takes to get the NBA to stop protecting and coddling the Golden State Warriors.

If they want to make injuries an excuse then the last Kanter can do is help their cause. John Stockton didn't when he played Gary Payton to a Game 7 back in 1996 on a leg that would have shut down 90% of all the other players in the NBA. Golden State is pathetic. But not as pathetic as the NBA and how they'll just let Green kick guys in the balls all playoffs long.