"The two-step, lead-with-your-foot closeout is not appropriate", Popovich said, his voice growing irritated. It's risky. It's unsportsmanlike like.
"This particular individual has a history with that kind of action", Popovich said.
They were in great position to steal Game 1 on the road against the heavily-favored Golden State Warriors, and then the borderline-dirty Pachulia was back at it again.
Leonard said he doesn't believe Pachulia fouled him on goal but also admitted he hasn't seen the replay.
Warriors acting coach Mike Brown, a close friend of and former assistant to Popovich, said the Spurs coach was speaking in support of his players.
Yeah, I feel for you, Pop. "Then think about the history he's had, and what that means to a team".
David Ross to Make ESPN Debut This Week on Wednesday Night Baseball
This is followed by another routine, with the pair dancing a Rumba to Demi Lovato's song "Skyscraper". In case you haven't noticed, it's time for the semi-finals of this season of Dancing With the Stars .
Pachulia defended himself in the locker room Sunday night, saying, "it's really stupid" to think he's a dirty player. We don't know what's going to happen in East; 9.75 people out of 10 which figure the Warriors will beat the Spurs. The Warriors outscored the Spurs 58-33 after Leonard exited with 7 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
"ZaZa's my teammate, he plays hard and we're just trying to win", West said. "So I didn't see what happened there". Popovich said. "Did they call all those guys (Dirk) Nowitzki landed on when he sprained his ankles the past three, four years?" We'll never know. But that doesn't make it any less wrong or unsafe.
"For anybody that's been on their bad side before or saw somebody else, whether it's a teammate, a comrade, how about a complete stranger, do you know how hard you have to try to not reach your hand to allow somebody to help you up?"
At one point in responding to a question from the media, Popovich compared Pachulia's history and role in the injury to Leonard as manslaughter, which seemed a tad excessive. But it's worth noting that Popovich was singing a completely different tune several years ago when one of his own players was repeatedly accused of making the very same type of play. You can go back and look at Dallas games where he got a flagrant 2 for elbowing Patty Mills.
Popovich referred to, among other incidents, a heated exchange between David West and Pachulia last season, when West was with the Spurs and Pachulia with the Dallas Mavericks. Tony Parker, who suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in Game 2 of the conference semis.
In a written statement issued by the Pelicans, Loomis calls the decision to stick with Demps and Gentry "the best course of action as we move forward". Particularly against a stellar defensive team like the Spurs, a more balanced scoring attack will make Golden State that much tougher to defend.