Warriors

Kawhi Leonard asked about NBA's new 'Zaza Pachulia rule'

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USATI

Kawhi Leonard asked about NBA's new 'Zaza Pachulia rule'

Do you remember Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals?

A refresher: The Spurs led by 21 with about eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and Zaza Pachulia fouled Kawhi Leonard on a jump shot.

Leonard landed on Pachulia's foot, rolled his ankle (for the second time in a matter of minutes) and did not play again during the series (Leonard made both free throws and then left the game for good). 

At media day on Monday, Leonard was asked about the NBA's new rule for the 2017-18 season.

"Think it's good to protect the player from getting hurt," Leonard told reporters. "I think it's a good rule just for the defender to be cautious."

Months later, does Leonard believe Pachulia's play was dirty?

"It's over with now. Would just rather talk about the new season. If it was dirty, or if it wasn't, it's not gonna help anything right now."

What new rule?

As the Associated Press' Brian Mahoney wrote last week:

"NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season’s playoffs.

After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure."

When many in the basketball world called Pachulia's play dirty, the Warriors big man said: "That's really stupid."

The Warriors and Spurs meet for the first time this season on Nov. 2 in San Antonio.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Kerr asked about Damian Jones: 'The other thing that hurts all the centers...'

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AP

Kerr asked about Damian Jones: 'The other thing that hurts all the centers...'

The Warriors selected Damian Jones with the 30th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

As a rookie, the big man appeared in just 10 NBA games.

He also suited up for the Santa Cruz Warriors 31 times.

"He's got a year under his belt now and he's healthy. This is his first real season where he's starting fresh. I don't tell anybody where they rank on the pecking order and totem pole. You just gotta play.

"You never know how this stuff turns out. If a guy is good enough to play, we're gonna play him. And he is really good, but you got a lot of  good guys at his same position, too."

Zaza Pachulia is the Warriors' starting center.

Behind him, it's JaVale McGee, David West, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Jones.

Oh yeah -- and then there's that Draymond Green guy.

"The other thing that hurts all the centers is there's no four-man anymore," Kerr added. "David West used to be a four, now he's a five. Looney -- ten years ago would have been a four. Now he's a five.

"So as a result, we end up with six centers on a roster ... now you're either a five or you're a three. The four position has almost been eliminated from the NBA.

"Unless you're Draymond Green and you just play whatever the hell position you want to call it."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller