It might not be as bad as losing Draymond Green for a game in the Finals, but the Golden State Warriors could potentially be without starting center Zaza Pachulia for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The NBA is reviewing an incident from Friday’s Game 4 in which Pachulia appeared to have punched Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert in the groin.
The NBA is reviewing several incidents from last night's game, I'm told. Zaza Pachulia swipe at Shumpert is among them. Standard protocol.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 10, 2017
Depending on who you ask, Pachulia has a history of dirty play. His close out on San Antonio Spurs MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference Finals was a prime example of this.
Despite being given a starting role in his first season with the Warriors, Pachulia has not really played a huge role in the playoffs. He’s averaging just 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14-plus minutes of action thus far.
If Pachulia is indeed suspended for Game 5, fellow veteran JaVale McGee would then see more action.
Cleveland avoided elimination Friday evening by handing Golden State a 137-116 loss. Up 3-1 in the series, the Warriors can wrap it up at home Monday night in Oakland. Whether Pachulia is on the court remains to be seen.