During Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia undercut San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs MVP candidate had to leave the game, and the Warriors went on to win, 113-111.
Many fans think that Pachulia undercut Leonard on purpose to try to hurt him. Other fans think it was on accident, and that Pachulia was just closing out on the shooter. Whether intentional or not, undercutting is against the rules because it can cause serious injury.
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Last night During Game 2, it happened again. Warriors forward Kevin Durant was being guarding by Spurs big LaMarcus Aldridge. Durant took a jump shot, Aldridge took an extra hop step forward to position himself in the landing area of the shooter, and Durant landed on Aldridge’s foot.
Luckily, Durant was not injured on the play and he doesn’t think Aldridge did it on purpose. After the game the former NBA MVP explained why he thinks big men undercut guards on the perimeter.
Big men like Aldridge aren’t used to guarding people on the perimeter. They usually play off shorter, quicker players so the guards cannot blow by them. But when the guards shoot, the bigs try to close out quickly and often end up in their landing area.
KD’s explanation definitely makes sense, but could Aldridge’s actions have been revenge for what Pachulia did to Leonard? Durant doesn’t think so, but what do you think? The Warriors defeated the Spurs 136-100 in an ugly Game 2.