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Is ZaZa Pachulia A Dirty Player?

Dirty Player?
ZaZa Pachulia has become a player that has enhanced the talk about dirty players in the league. Draymond Green called Kelly Olynyck a dirty player. Since there has been more attention set towards players who appear to intentionally injure other players. Anyone who tells you that basketball isn’t as physical as it was back in the day may want to rethink that after watching this years playoffs. The Wizards and Celtics series was as scrappy as they come. And here we are talking about more dirty plays that leave a superstar hurt and the Spurs last hope of defeating the Warriors.

A lot of people are debating if the play was actually dirty. Greg Popovich who had a bunch of criticism for Pachulia regarding his history of dirty plays said intention is irrelevant. The fact is it happened and it shouldn’t have. ZaZa could have arguably just have been trying to abide by the scouting report and not give him much room to shoot. Not leaving space for a player to land, especially someone with an already tweaked ankle still leaves skepticism. Warriors immediately went on a run with the absence of Kawhi Leonard.

So was it a dirty play or not? In my opinion it was and here is why. Players who are attempting layups, or are in the air off balanced are more prone to injury by chance of not landing correctly. We’ve seen this before. When a guy is in the air and a player may brush them or give them a small push it throws their momentum awkwardly leading to potential injury. A big reason why there aren’t tons and tons of more injuries in the league is because of players respecting players and their “spacing” on the court. There’s just certain things you do and certain things you don’t.

Here’s the video to compare for yourself.

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