OKLAHOMA CITY — Steven Adams doesn’t believe Golden State center Zaza Pachulia deserves retribution for his controversial fall onto Russell Westbrook during Saturday night’s Thunder loss to the Warriors.
“No, not at all. Not at all. You’ve got to focus on the game, because that’s why you’re out there,” Adams said. “Anything like that that gets personal like that, it should be done outside…The reason for it is you put the team at risk.”
The NBA will not discipline Pachulia for his play on Westbrook, The Transcript learned Monday.
The fall occurred during the third quarter of the 112-80 loss to Golden State. Westbrook tried to rebound his own miss, but Warriors guard Nick Young knocked him off balance trying to corral the ricochet, as well. Both fell to the ground. Pachulia, who was around the play, fell, too, dropping onto Westbrook’s legs.
Westbrook had a prior history with Pachulia, who just last year knocked the Thunder point guard to the ground with a hard screen and immediately stood over him. Westbrook said after that game he would “get his [expletive] back.” He didn’t. But he called Pachulia out again following Saturday’s defeat.
“Obviously it was intentional,” Westbrook said of the fall from Pachulia, who he called “for sure” a dirty player. “So, don't ask me if it was intentional. Nobody touched him. He fell on my leg, tried to hurt me. But hey, that's how it goes.”
• A new read: Adams has a tame review of the autobiography he is releasing with ghostwriter Madeleine Chapman.
“It’s about myself. That’s pretty much it, mate,” he said. “It’s just a book about myself.”
The release of the currently untitled book is slated for this coming July, Chapman tweeted last week. Of course, getting the always gregarious but also consistently unassuming Adams to talk about himself is a common chore amongst reporters who cover the Thunder.
So, how is he going to write an entire book about himself? He tried to clear that up — in a way which was, of course, overly modest.
“I didn’t write it. I’ve got a ghost writer named Madeleine Chapman. So, yeah,” he said. “I can barely read, mate.”
• Improvement: Paul George had, at the time, the best-shooting season of his career a year ago, nailing 39 percent of his 6.6 3-pointers a game during his final season in Indiana. He’s been even better this year, sinking 42 percent of his 7.8 3s a game heading into Monday's match against Orlando.
Magic coach Frank Vogel, who coached George from 2010 to 2016, has a theory as to why: the broken leg, which kept George out for nearly the entire 2014-15 season.
“The injury has made him a better shooter, because for a year, all he could do was sit in a chair and shoot the basketball or stand still and shoot the basketball,” Vogel said. “And those reps that he had, I think, improved him as a shooter. And that’s shown statistically since his injury.”
Fred Katz is the Thunder beat writer for the Norman Transcript and CNHI Oklahoma as well as the host of the postgame show, Thunder After Dark, and the OKC Dream Team, a weekly Thunder podcast that runs every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter: @FredKatz.