Zaza Pachulia not taking playoff benching personal: ‘It’s all about the team’
Zaza Pachulia is yet to play a minute of postseason action this season, benched in favor of the lankier, more athletic JaVale McGee, as head coach Steve Kerr has opted to trot out a faster-paced lineup.
Yet the veteran center, who has held the starting center spot for most of the season, isn’t fretting about remaining on the sidelines through the first two games of this best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs.
“It’s all about the team,” Pachulia said after Monday’s game, according to Logan Murdock of the San Jose Mercury News. “JaVale is playing great. There are no worries. Playoffs are fun, obviously, I want to play, but at the same time, we’re in a position to win two [championships] in a row.”
McGee has indeed been a difference-maker, allowing the team to get easy buckets at the rim and providing a shot-blocking presence against LaMarcus Aldridge, who will be tasked with the bulk of the scoring for the rest of the series.
Yet Kerr has made plenty of changes throughout the season, tinkering with different lineups, and it wouldn’t surprise to see Pachulia make an appearance later down the road.
“Steve has been clear about that,” said Warriors backup center David West. “It’s a matter of being ready. Knowing what the matchup is going to be. Now with a series, it doesn’t change from night to night. I think Zaza, JaVale, Loon, and (Jordan Bell), those guys have handled it as well as you can.”
Kerr has been playing center carrousel the entire season, avidly playing the matchup game, but he threw most for a loop, including his mentor Gregg Popovich, by starting Andre Iguodala at point guard — a move that has paid off just as much as McGee’s double-digit scoring average (12.5 per game) through the first two games of the series.