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Bruce Bowen On Zaza Pachulia's Closeout: "Intentional And Definitely Dangerous"

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Bruce Bowen can cite a wealth of experience when it comes to stepping under shooters. Whether that makes him the most or least qualified to comment on that infamous Zaza Pachulia closeout is hard to say. Either way, Bleacher Report sought out his take, and as satisfying as it would be to pin Bowen for hypocrisy here, the former Spur didn’t say anything all that spicy. He notes that Pachulia’s extra steps under Kawhi Leonard appeared intentional, and were “definitely dangerous,” regardless of what you think about intent:

“The thing is, now I’ve seen all the stuff going around on social (media) and all the things people are saying, and a lot of it involves me,” Bowen said. “Well, I used to hate it when people called me dirty. I thought it was unfair when people just piggyback on what other people say. And I still do.”


“That play? I’ve watched it and, yeah, I thought he took an extra step,” he said. “Plenty of time to stop where he did, but he continued moving in that direction of Kawhi. That seems like it’s intentional and it’s definitely dangerous.”


“What was his intent?” Bowen said. “You can rewind something five times and convince yourself of anything. What I saw, he kept moving in that direction after he contested the shot. You know you have to let a player come down. He kept walking into that space, so, for me, that says more about the intent.”


“Honestly, you might just run by (the shooter),” Bowen said. “You’re talking about a big man now, and how often do they close out on a three-point shooter? So, whether it’s Pau Gasol or Karl-Anthony Towns, they stay put. There is no technique with bigs. They usually stop short and just put their hands up, because of their length. But, Zaza kept going and took the extra steps.”


The embarrassing part came later, when he made clear that even eight years out of the league, he’s still salty about his well-deserved reputation as a dirty defender: “I don’t know what is going to happen to Zaza,” Bowen said, “but if that had been me, I know what would have happened: suspension.”

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