So much attention has been paid to the way NBA players close out on shooters in recent days. This stems from the play in which Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia slid his foot under Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals showdown. Leonard came down on Pachulia’s foot, rolled his ankle and missed the rest of the game. He also did not suit up for Game 2, which the Warriors won, 136-100.
It was a hugely controversial play, one which almost certainly swung Game 1 and potentially tipped the balance of the entire series. Leonard is far and away the most important player on the Spurs, so for him to miss any time is a massive blow to San Antonio.
Golden State doesn’t have one particular player like this, so if the Spurs wanted to retaliate in some way, they’d have to decide on which Warriors player to target. Based on this play, it looks like LaMarcus Aldridge may have gone after Kevin Durant in a similar fashion.