Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has ruled Kawhi Leonard out for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals with a sprained left ankle caused by what Popovich described as a "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike" closeout by Golden State's Zaza Pachulia. After announcing that Leonard will miss Game 2 of the conference finals, Pop had plenty to say about Pachulia's play, calling it "crap" and even comparing it to manslaughter.
San Antonio owned the first 28 minutes and seven seconds, then Warrior Zaza Pachulia got his left foot under Spurs forward/savior Kawhi Leonard's already injured left on a corner jumper. Their game plan worked, but it was created to keep the game close, not protect a big lead. "It's unsafe, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does to anybody else and this particular individual has a history of that kind of action". "It's just not what anybody does to anybody else".
"When I looked in their eyes, I felt they believed", Warriors coach Mike Brown said after watching his club rally from 25 down in the first half.
Their argument is that Pachulia didn't do this on objective, that he simply was making a hard closeout, and it unfortunately resulted in Leonard coming down on his foot.
"This is the game of basketball, a lot of insane stuff happens on the court, unfortunately", he said.
"I don't think I should be making (any) comment", he added. When you play this kind of physical game, intense game, things happen. "I know a lot of times just playing defense, getting a hard contest, I've seen guys flinch just because I'm jumping out there because they're nervous they might land on your foot". I'm not a dirty player. It was enough to make me want to day-drink at 2pm on Mother's Day.
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"Because he has this history it can't just be "Oh it was inadvertent". "Who gives a damn what [Pachulia's] intent was?" You ever heard of manslaughter? You still go to jail, I think, when you're texting and you end up killing somebody but you might not have meant to do that. "Because as soon as he released the ball, I turned around and tried to chase the rebound and see where the ball was going and then apparently, he landed on my foot".
"He's just a special competitor, team player, he's a big part of the spirit of our team whether he starts or comes off the bench he's the same", Popovich continued.
Here is video of the play, followed by Brown's full comparison... LaMarcus is not a dirty player. But if health is the priority, the league will have to bump up its toughness on these plays.
The Golden State Warriors have pulled off a dramatic 113-111 comeback win to stun Patty Mills' San Antonio Spurs in game one of the National Basketball Association western conference finals.
Leonard isn't expected to play in Game 2 on Tuesday. Like on objective? No, he was contesting the shot. "The shot clock was coming down and". Leonard scored 26 points on 7.
Mills was fouled by the Warriors' Klay Thompson and stepped up to shoot two free throws.