Fortunately, the Celtics don’t play the Golden State Warriors again in the regular season. But if the C’s and Warriors end up in the NBA Finals this summer, Kyrie Irving better watch his back.
Specifically, he better watch out for Zaza Pachulia’s latest cheap shot.
The Warriors big man has had a way of creatively injuring star players in his time with Golden State. And this time, he nearly caused a serious leg injury to superstar Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook when he “fell” on his leg. It’s pretty clear that at best, Pachulia did nothing to stop himself from falling on Westbrook’s leg.
But let’s be honest, it’s an obvious flop and attempt to injure. Just no need for it.
Westbrook saw what everyone else saw.
“Obviously it was intentional,” Westbrook told reporters after the game. “Nobody touched him, he fell over my leg. He tried to hurt me. But hey, that’s how it goes.”
Kevin Durant defended Pachulia when asked about the incident, describing his teammate as “clumsy.” Obviously Durant wasn’t going to say his teammate was dirty, but he could’ve just said “I didn’t see what happened.” To blatantly act like it was a pure accident is a little embarrassing.
Anyway, Irving spoke up about the incident in a comment on an Instagram post. Thunder beat writer Fred Katz took notice.
“The league has to take a look at this man, that [expletive] is ridiculous!” Irving commented.
Especially when you consider that the NBA is a star-driven league, you have to think that commissioner Adam Silver can’t be happy that some of the league’s best players are having their seasons and/or careers threatened because of this stiff. In case you forgot, here’s what Pachulia did to Kawhi Leonard last season:
Zaza Pachulia ended Kawhi Leonard career!!! pic.twitter.com/i4I9Bhyjfw— Los Angeles Clippers (@I_AClippers) February 22, 2018
The problem is, it’s hard for the NBA to do anything disciplinary about what Pachulia did to Westbrook. Technically, they’d be punishing him for falling. But people with eyes and brains know what the guy was doing there. And there’s just no room for it in the game.
Kyrie at least realizes he needs to dodge falling Georgians if and when the Celtics and Warriors meet again.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.