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Signs of life: The Zaza Pachulia dance

Is there an upside to Pachulia’s awkward hip shake in Boston on Friday?

Golden State Warriors Media Day Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

For much of the season, the fans of Dub Nation have wondered what the heck Steve Kerr is thinking by keeping Zaza Pachulia on the floor as a starter when other center options are available — like JaVale McGee.

McGee has made some silly, knucklehead mistakes throughout his eight-year career that have earned him a bad reputation around the league for which he has been bullied and mocked. Yes, he still has issues of concern — like racking up four fouls in three minutes against Toronto this week. But what he may lack in decision-making, he makes up for in energy and athleticism.

And energy and athleticism — hustle on both ends of the floor — are exactly what Pachulia lacks ... landing him on the wrong side of derision.

For the majority of the season, it has seemed as if he was playing with lead shoes or running with cement blocks tied to his ankles. Clearly, this doesn’t match up with the quickness and sharpness of the Warriors’ core, especially superstar guard Stephen Curry and do-it-all man Draymond Green. So when, in the third quarter against the Celtics on Friday night, Pachulia sank a mid-range jumper and proceeded to do what loosely can be called a stiff shimmy hip shake, the media and fans — and likely players on both teams — were left scratching their heads between guffaws.

Former NBA player-turned-ESPN announcer Jalen Rose said of Pachulia after the game:

“He makes one jump shot and all of a sudden he turns into a half-baked Conor McGregor.”

Chauncey Billup added, “Well, first of all, he ain’t got no rhythm.”

Although Pachulia scored just four points, to his credit, he has been productive on the boards — pulling down 12 rebounds against the Celtics on Friday. He also swatted away 3 blocks and grabbed 2 steals in 21 minutes of play.

As for that “dance”?

Let’s call it a sign of life — a signal that Pachulia is waking up and getting into a golden flow. The awkward hip shake could be the catalyst that generates positive momentum and better play moving forward.

That, or he just made a simple fool of himself on national television.

You decide.

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