clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Draymond Green's back-tap reminds Suns of Raja Bell's clothesline

Let's call it a throwback Monday. Remember when the Phoenix Suns' Raja Bell clotheslined Lakers Kobe Bryant?

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The similarities between the suspension of on-the-edge-of-dirty enforcer Raja Bell for a big game in 2006 and the suspension of on-the-edge-of-dirty enforcer Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, consultant Steve Nash and sixth man Leandro Barbosa all might see some similarities to that 2006 series where the Phoenix Suns overcame the loss of Bell to win a huge game on the road against the Lakers.

It's not entirely the same, though. The Suns, while the favorite over the Lakers, were generally undermanned in 2006 after the loss of Amare Stoudemire (knee) for the season and Kurt Thomas mid-season. And the game in question, Game 6, was potentially a series-deciding loss for the Suns on the road in Los Angeles. The Warriors, on the other hand, are otherwise healthy across the roster and are playing at home with a 3-1 series lead.

But still, the parallels are there. And they don't bode well for the Cavaliers.

Let's reminisce.


The Phoenix Suns were the series favorite, but had fallen into a 3-1 hole against Smush Parker's underdog Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2006 playoffs.

Raja Bell appeared to make the Suns chances even worse when he got himself in trouble with his cheap shot on Kobe Bryant with the Suns up by 14 late in Game 5 as the Suns were trying to inch back into the series, but still down 3-2 with the next game in LA.

Bell was suspended for Game 6 - which includes being banned from the arena - and famously watched from a local bar, surrounded by Lakers fans, while the Suns stunned the Lakers in overtime to force a deciding Game 7.

Remember mid-season pickup Tim Thomas?

The Suns were able to overcome the loss of enforcer Raja Bell, and the Golden State Warriors will have to withstand the loss of enforcer Draymond Green.

My bet is on the Warriors to win the series tonight, even without Draymond Green in the lineup.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun