Monday, January 09, 2017
All-Star Zaza Eases The Pain
I've gotten better getting over a Raiders loss. It helps to have the Golden State Warriors as your local NBA basketball team to help transition from football to basketball. Though there's many Raiders highlights to enjoy from the 2016 football season, the heartbreak of seeing #4 go down with a broken leg makes it very hard to look back. And so we press onward to cheer and root for another potential Bay Area sports champion.
In last night's game in Sacramento, surprise All-star vote candidate Zaza Pachulia, showed the NBA exactly why his fellow countrymen feel he's deserving of an All-star weekend appearance.
The NBA modified its All-Star voting rules this year because of Pachulia, who received an inordinate number of votes last year from fans in his home country of Georgia.
The stone faced fellow from Tbilisi, Georgia, where legend has it the area was named for it's sulfuric hot springs, was a volcanic force on the basketball court last night with his harassing defense, scoring, assists and lock-down play on Sacramento Kings All-star center DeMarcus Cousins.
Zaza has stepped up his game to become another integral part of this elite Warriors team of high powered offense with suffocating defense. Earlier in the season, with Zaza replacing former Warriors center Andrew Bogut, the Georgian seemed out of place and awkward looking among his fast-paced teammates. Where new forward Kevin Durant fit as comfortably as Cinderella's slipper, Zaza needed a shoe-horn to wedge his 6'11 frame into the Warriors gameplan.
I suppose we can throw away the shoe-horn now, because it seems Zaza has forced the Warriors to expand the width of their gameplan to the point where no forcing is needed to fit him in. His basketball smarts make-up for any athleticism he may lack. In just a few short weeks he's made us Warriors fans sit up and take notice.
Many experts will say that #27 Zaza Pachulia, a 14 year NBA veteran approaching the age of JC at crucifixion (33), is not an All-star caliber player and is lucky to be playing with All-stars on an elite NBA team. But Warriors fans and basketball fans from the country of Georgia see it as the Warriors who are the lucky ones to have a seasoned center who can pass, defend, score and run with the rest of the team at a high skill level.
Maybe his no-look, over the head pass to Steph Curry last night will have the basketball experts taking another look at the big man from hot springs country. Or maybe his stats from last night, which could stand toe-to-toe with those of Sacramento Kings All-star DeMarcus Cousins, will make believers of those doubting the Zaza factor.
Sooner or later, time reveals the hidden values in peoples, places and things. It appears that Zaza Pachulia's place and time in the NBA has come and some truths about his basketball game are about to be revealed.
We Believe In Zaza!