Poll question: Dirty play by Zaza or no?

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Dirty play by Zaza or no?

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Yes
100%
No
3

Total votes: 3


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» Mon May 15, 2017 3:49 pm
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» Mon May 15, 2017 6:37 pm
I don't think Pachulia intended to hurt Leonard but the below article that I'll post is the key and my stance on this and any other situation involving anyone with past history:


https://sports.yahoo.com/news/gregg-popovich-kawhi-leonard-ankle-spurs-warriors-game-2-180746398.html

Pop: Kawhi out for Game 2 after Zaza's 'dangerous,' 'unsportsmanlike' play


San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said Monday that All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will not play in Game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors, and called the play by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia that resulted in Leonard’s injury “dangerous,” “unsportsmanlike” and inappropriate during a fiery session with reporters.

“He’s in an MRI right now,” Popovich said when he met with the media on Monday afternoon. “But I would guess he’d be out.”

Later, though, Popovich said: “We’ll see. We’ll see what the MRI says. But, obviously, he won’t play tomorrow.”

Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com reported Monday evening that the MRI showed no structural damage. However, Leonard has officially been listed as “doubtful” for Game 2.

Leonard, who had injured his ankle in Game 5 of San Antonio’s second-round series against the Houston Rockets and missed the deciding Game 6, left Sunday’s Game 1 against the Warriors with a left ankle sprain after landing on the foot of Warriors center Zaza Pachulia while shooting with just under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Leonard had been brilliant to that point, scoring 26 points on 7-for-13 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists and one steal in 24 minutes of floor time to spark the Spurs to a 23-point lead over the heavily favored Warriors. When Leonard left the game after making his two free throws, San Antonio led 78-55. Immediately after his exit, the Warriors ripped off an 18-0 run to get back within striking distance, before overtaking the Spurs in the final quarter and finishing off a 113-111 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

After Leonard’s exit, and especially after the Warriors came back to beat a Leonard-less Spurs team, accusations of dirty play and questions of intent came to the forefront. Leonard, for his part, said he didn’t think Pachulia’s play was dirty, but rather that the Golden State center was just trying to contest his jumper and unintentionally ended up with his foot underneath Leonard’s landing spot.

“Did he step under it? Like, [on] purpose?” Leonard said. “No, he was contesting the shot. The shot clock was coming down. I’ll have to see the play.”

After the game, Pachulia insisted there was no malice intended, and said it was “really stupid” that anyone would think he slid underneath Leonard on purpose with the intent to injure the Spurs’ best player.

“I did my part. Like I said, I had to challenge the shot especially [because] it was a handoff situation,” Pachulia said. “You saw my teammate was behind the screen, so I had to challenge the shot. That’s what I did … I’m an athlete, too, so, I know how it feels and I don’t wish it to anybody, even though we are facing against them.”

However, Popovich made it very clear that, intentional or not, he was livid at Pachulia’s play and the havoc it wrought.

Asked how much more difficult it would be for the Spurs to knock off Golden State without Leonard in the lineup, Popovich said, “Come on, man,” and began to unload.

“How much more difficult is it? How would it be if [Stephen] Curry didn’t play?” Popovich said. “How much more difficult would that be? I’m not a happy camper, but that’s a silly question.”

Popovich then turned his attention to how Pachulia’s foot came to be underneath Leonard.

“A two-step, lead-with-your-foot closeout is not appropriate,” he said. “It’s dangerous. It’s unsportsmanlike. It’s just not what anybody does to anybody else. And this particular individual has a history with that kind of action. You can go back and look in Dallas [Mavericks] games, where [Pachulia, who played for the Mavs during the 2015-16 season] got a flagrant-[1] for elbowing Patty Mills. The play where he took Kawhi down and locked his arm, in Dallas. Could’ve broken his arm. Ask David West, his current teammate, how things went when Zaza was playing for Dallas and he and David got into it. And then think about the history he’s had, and what that means to a team, what happened last night.

“A totally unnatural closeout that the league has outlawed years ago, and pays great attention to it. And Kawhi’s not there. And you want to know how we feel about it. You want to know if that lessens our chances or not. We’re playing very possibly the best team in the league — you know, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the East — and 9.75 people out of 10 would figure that the Warriors will beat the Spurs. Well, we’ve had a pretty damn good season, we’ve played fairly well in the playoffs, I think we’re getting better, and we’re up 23 points in the third quarter against Golden State. And Kawhi goes down, like that, and you want to know if our chances are less? And you want to know how we feel? That’s how we feel.”

Popovich then invited follow-up questions, eliciting laughs from the assembled reporters. But when he got one — about whether he thought Pachulia intended to injure Leonard — he wasted little time in going back in.

“Because [Pachulia has] got this history, it can’t just be, ‘Oh, it was inadvertent. He didn’t have intent,’” Popovich said. “Who gives a damn about what his intent was? You ever hear of manslaughter? You still go to jail, I think, when you’re texting and you end up killing someone. But you might not have intended to do that. All I care is what I saw. All I care about is what happened. And the history there exacerbates the whole situation and makes me very, very angry.”

Asked whether he expects the NBA to take any action toward Pachulia following the play and Leonard’s injury, Popovich said all of that fell outside his purview.

“I don’t care what the league does,” he said. “I’m just telling you how I feel. The league is the league. They do what they do. I could care less. I didn’t call the league. Why would I do that? They looked at the play. If they do something, they do something. If they don’t, they don’t. All I care about is, Kawhi’s not there.

“And, you know, having your horses is important at this point in the deal. And when you’re playing Golden State in their place, and you’re playing like that, it’s pretty cool. And if he would’ve played, and they would’ve ended up winning, I go get dinner, have a glass of wine, wake up the next day, go to practice and move on. But this is crap […] Nobody wants to do anything that would put anybody else in danger for a game or a career. This guy’s history is different.”



I agree with Popovich, Pachulia has had a bit of a history of being rough and doing things that have or could have hurt players. That's really a very important factor and most people, especially coaches, would think and voice the same thing.

IN SAYING THAT, Pachulia, like every other players in the nba, is out there to play and ON THAT PLAY he tried to defend Leonard who was about to shoot the ball. He has to do that. He didn't kick him, hit him or make contact with him, it was Leonard who fell on Pachulia's foot that landed normally and was not placed in that position under Leonard in an out of usual position way, he landed normally and it ended up somewhat under Leonard.

I just saw a video with Mike Brown saying that a few plays later Aldridge did the same thing to Curry, just Curry fell to the floor to avoid landing on Aldridge's foot. That's a big fact as well and really in fairness that would have to be looked at as well if Pachulia's incident is looked at.

Another big key thing is - Popovich had Bruce Bowen doing ALOT OF DIRTY THINGS a decade or so ago and he used that to success. It is hypocritical for Popovich to single out this incident and Pachulia. It is unfortunate what happened but that's really all it is.

Leonard is apparently out for Game 2, maybe longer, and that means San Antonio is without their best player and their chances of winning the series are much less likely.
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» Tue May 16, 2017 5:53 pm
Zaza intended to disrupt the shot and get away with one, but how could of intended on hurting his bum ankle?

I voted no, because until all the Dubs haters agree it's a dirty play when it happens to Steph, or any other player, then you can't single out Zaza. It was unfortunate, and definitely a foul, but it happens literally every damn game.
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» Tue May 16, 2017 7:06 pm
Wow Skip Bayless just wrote the Spurs would have won the series with Leonard.
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» Wed May 17, 2017 7:50 am
I mean, Zaza is the only player that does this:

Oh wait, that wasn't Zaza....
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» Wed May 17, 2017 8:35 am
Stairway Man wrote:Wow Skip Bayless just wrote the Spurs would have won the series with Leonard.

Bayless is a self-employed Spurs Homer, and a widely known troll, shock "journalist," and moron. Like Cowherd, you better off ignoring everything they say.
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» Wed May 17, 2017 5:40 pm
Well, it seems social justice has been served, not sure about the media, but Aldridge's spineless attempt to injure KD hasn't gone unnoticed. This is without a doubt more malicious and obvious than what Zaza did; at least with Zaza you could say his momentum carried him into Kawhi and he was actually trying to defend the shot. LA's momentum had stopped, he didn't even try to contest the shot, kept his eyes on KD the whole time, and stepped right under his foot with a totally unnatural move. There's zero chance this wasn't intentional.

On top of that, you have KD with a much more political and rational high road response compared to Pop's crybaby rant: https://streamable.com/kpxbo

Spurs and Dubs haters take the Last here folks.
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» Thu May 18, 2017 9:20 pm
JREED wrote:I mean, Zaza is the only player that does this:

Oh wait, that wasn't Zaza....



That by Aldridge looks utterly deliberate and not exactly well hidden either.

There should be uproar about this like there was with Paculia's.
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» Fri May 19, 2017 12:37 pm
I know I'm kinda beating a dead horse, but I find it incredibly hypercritical that in his tantrum, Pop said several things indicating basically only a scumbag, dirty player would do something like what Zaza did, especially his main quote:

A two-step, lead-with-your-foot close-out is not appropriate. It's dangerous. It's unsportsmanlike. It's just not what anybody does to anybody else.

Then Aldridge does the same thing, but it obviously appears there is more intent or recklessness. So I guess Pop is wrong; other player indeed do this!

I'm happy social media dug in, but I really want Pop to be forced to acknowledge his own player's repeat of the same action that caused him to blowup. Of course this is coming from the same coach that had Bruce Bowen (the dirtiest of all time; the DoAT) and actually DEFENDED Bowen for the same play 11 years ago: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/gregg-p ... layer-foul - I urge you to read that article that details his total hypocrisy because it's too many quotes for me to post here.

Just because KD wasn't hurt, does not make this any worse. However, the fact it wasn't called, nor acknowledged by many of those that slammed Zaza, does make it worse. Player history aside, it's blatant bias, especially when you consider Bowen's actions and his DoAT status.

But reading more into this, does Pop really feel this way? He's a very smart man, and it's pretty obvious he was trying to use the media to gain an upper hand (maybe a Zaza suspension or some ref bias), and provoke the Dubs, who took the high road, but that certainly doesn't make this ok.

Shouldn't a coach who's blatantly trying to use the media and public be treated like a flopping player? We aren't all idiots. His intent was clear, and he should have been punished, or at least called out for being a hypocrite and a poor sport.
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» Fri May 19, 2017 1:01 pm
migya wrote:
JREED wrote:I mean, Zaza is the only player that does this:

Oh wait, that wasn't Zaza....



That by Aldridge looks utterly deliberate and not exactly well hidden either.

There should be uproar about this like there was with Paculia's.

Exactly! LA wasn't even trying to defend the damn shot! His only intent was to get that foot in there! And KD even defended LA! But we're the classless team?

What kills me is that this happens to Steph so much that he actually has to change how he lands, and often falls, to avoid the defender's foot (not to mention how much he's fouled in general). I bet at least one of his injuries has stemmed from this play, nobody cared, but it happens to the darling Spurs Kawhi and it's "MANSLAUGHTER!"

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» Fri May 19, 2017 9:58 pm
Nice post of the USA today article I had not seen that. Here's what I wrote on the game thread I'll move it here too.

mullin17 wrote:They are coming off as whiners trying to blame that crap on zaza. It was a just a regular foul only because leonard landed on his foot but that's it.

Everything the warriors have been through they don't say much at all or blame anyone. After watching popps press conference it makes me appreciate Kerr even more and even Mike brown too.

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