Spurs' Leonard out of Game 2; Simmons starts

May 18, 2017, 00:32
Spurs' Leonard out of Game 2; Simmons starts

Patty Mills says there is a simple reason why he does not fear becoming a victim of a "dangerous" close out defensive play in San Antonio's NBA Western Conference Final series against the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard left Game 1 on Sunday after re-injuring his tender left ankle in the third quarter when Pachulia's foot slid under Leonard's following a jumper by the All-Star forward.

That wasn't enough for ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who argued that Pachulia should have been called for a flagrant one for intentionally sliding under Leonard, which both players denied.

But Popovich was in no mood to accept that version of events, saying: "I'm not a happy camper".

The meat of Popovich's argument was that Pachulia's closeout on Kawhi Leonard was "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike".

It can't just be, 'Oh it was inadvertent. Yes manslaughter. The example he gave was someone texting while driving who kills someone and should still go to jail. Then the cop out of nowhere pulls in front of me: 'Hey, you!

"They came out with a sense of urgency from the beginning and they played that way for 48 minutes", acting Warriors head coach Mike Brown told reporters. I understand that, and our team realizes that, so when you get to the Eastern Conference Finals or the Western Conference Finals, you understand you're one step closer to your goal.

Among the plays Popovich referred to in that history was an elbow on Mills that elicited a flagrant foul previous year, but the Aussie declined to comment directly on the play.

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But Popovich wasn't buying any defense from Pachulia about lack of intent. What I saw, he kept moving in that direction after he contested the shot. "All I care about is what happened and the history there exacerbates the whole situation and makes me very, very angry", Popovich said.

His rant, while undoubtedly coming from a place of extreme frustration, also comes with an additional benefit.

Golden State Warriors guard/forward Andre Iguodala (left knee) has been ruled out for Game 2 versus the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

Pachulia, 33, has insisted that he had not meant to injure anyone in the incident. "That was the right defence from my side to challenge the shot".

"I have no idea".

"Obviously a very risky situation for players, and the referee luckily stayed on that play all the way until the shooter landed and the foul was called on the play".

The Spurs players haven't responded to Zaza Pachulia's actions with the same ferocity as Coach Pop, but that feeling has no doubt resonated in the locker room.

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