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Warrior Wonder: Zaza comes up big in the Warrior’s loss

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With most of the bench guys on ice due to injury, Zaza Pachulia had one of his best games this season, notching a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Zaza Pachulia is kind of an unsung hero around these parts, but that’s pretty much a side-effect to playing alongside four All-Stars. Plus his style doesn’t exactly generate the stuff to make highlight reels nor does he typically draw eye-popping numbers.

But yesterday, the Georgian giant had a performance that stood out even more than the 39 points Kevin Durant had (which he also took 32 shots to get).

Pachulia would finish the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

That wasn’t a particularly amazing stat line, especially in comparison to what Karl-Anthony Towns had. But in a game where offense was hard to come by, Pachulia somehow ended up outscoring the rest of the Warrior’s bench and almost half of the starters combined. He only missed 2 shots as well.

While JaVale McGee has now taken the starter role from Pachulia, the big man has continued to bring his usual contributions every night in terms of the spacing he creates with his screens as well as his knack for passing.

But those things don’t show up on the box score.

Yesterday’s game however left him a gaping hole to fill on the stat sheet in terms of scoring and rebounding. Especially considering the current state of the bench due to the injuries of Andre Iguodala and David West.

Scoring was a big issue with Nick Young not being able to summon a lick of swag. And besides Shaun Livingston (8 points) and Omri Casspi (2 points), Pachulia was the only other bench player to put up any points on the board.

And while his buckets tend to come in the form of him being on the receiving end of another playmaker (like the video above), he had a number of plays yesterday where he ended up creating for himself on a few nice post moves that rarely see the light of day.

However, rebounding was a big issue for the Warriors — especially down the stretch — and that was an area that Pachulia helped to shore up while he was on the court. That was huge considering how active on the boards Towns and Taj Gibson were for the Timberwolves.

Perhaps if Steve Kerr had gone with a slightly different lineup to close the game, the Warriors might have walked away with a win.

Anyway, who was your Warrior Wonder for the game?

Poll

Who was the Warrior Wonder for the loss against the TWolves?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Kevin Durant
    (27 votes)
  • 8%
    Klay Thompson
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Draymond Green
    (2 votes)
  • 69%
    Zaza Pachulia
    (102 votes)
  • 2%
    Shaun Livingston
    (3 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now