Intentional foul in final seconds nearly costs Warriors


Intentional foul in final seconds nearly costs Warriors

With the Warriors leading the Nuggets 106-103 in the finalseconds of Thursdays game at Oracle, Andre Iguodala came down the right sideof the court looking to make a 3-pointer to tie the game and send it intoovertime.

RECAP: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105
Jarrett Jack had missed at the other end with nine secondsremaining, and so the game was coming down to this possession.As Iguodala approached the arc, Jack committed anintentional foul on him, wanting to take the potential 3-point game-tying shotout of the equation.But the official ruled that Iguodala was in the act ofshooting on the foul and awarded him three free throws with 3.4 secondsremaining -- and a chance to send the game into overtime.To be sure, it was a questionable call. And lets go aheadand make it a bad call for the purposes of this discussion.But the point here is not to harp on the call. The point here is to show an example of why intentionallyfouling late in the game with more than a two-point lead isnt always theno-brainer that some believe it is.It is becoming more and more common that teams will foulinside, lets say, five seconds or so with a three-point lead so as not toallow the trailing team an opportunity to tie the game with a3-pointer.The thinking is that the percentages are with the team thatswinning to secure a rebound off an intentional miss on the second foul shotattempt as opposed to the trailing team making a 3-pointer to tie thegame.And in theory, it seems to be a sound strategy.But the reality is that when you decide to foul in thatsituation you are also inviting trouble.In that case, you must allow for the unknown of thereferees whistle andor the possibility that your player may not quite foul atthe right time.Thursday night was a perfect example of that. The Warriorswere in a position where if they got one stop at the end of regulation -- onIguodalas last possession -- they would have gone into the locker room winners -- quick and easy.The worst scenario for the Warriors there would have beenIguodala hitting a contested 3-pointer (hopefully) and the game going intoovertime. Certainly not ideal, but you still have a chance to win inovertime.But by choosing to foul -- and with an accompanyingquestionable call -- the Warriors actually put themselves in position to losethe game in regulation.By choosing to foul, youre choosing to extend the game, astrategy that mostly is employed by the team thats losing. And by extendingthe game while youre ahead, youre giving the trailing team more opportunitiesto come back and win the game.In the case of the Warriors-Nuggets Thursday night, it wasalmost a nightmare for Golden State. Iguodala made two free throws with 3.4seconds left, missed the third but Golden State couldnt secure therebound.That left Denver with the last possession and an inboundsplay in the Warriors frontcourt. At that point, the Warriors could have veryeasily lost the game in regulation -- which couldnt have happened if theWarriors had chosen not to foul.Of course, Iguodala ended up making what appeared to be agame-winning buzzer-beater. But replays showed the ball came out of his hands asplit-second after the buzzer.A tenth of a second here or there and its a crushing lossfor Golden State -- and the reason would have been two-fold -- because it choseto foul and because the official made a questionable call.But you have to take into account for that improbability. Inother words, if youre going to foul, you also need to prepare for some thingsbeyond your control. Thats why some coaches elect not to do it, insteadrelying on his teams defense to get one stop.If youre an advocate of fouling with a three-point leadlate in a game, you certainly have a leg to stand on. But choosing not to foulisnt wrong, either. Its just another way to go.

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one


Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

Kevin Durant doesn't take it easy on anyone. Not even the children of teammate Zaza Pachulia.

After practice on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pachulia's two sons, Davit and Saba, were playing one-on-one at the facility the Warriors were using. Kevin Durant filmed one sequence and posted it to his Instagram Story.

One of Pachulia's sons grabbed the ball and drives around the other without dribbling. As he makes the shot, Durant offers his commentary and took a shot at the Warriors starting center.

"That's a travel. Such a travel. Same thing your pops do," Durant said, taking a shot at Pachulia.

Durant also had another message for Pachulia written on the video.

"Yo, @zazapachulia at some you have to teach the boys how to play off the bounce," Durant wrote.

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

After losing the biggest test of the season thus far, the Warriors will try to get back to winning Saturday, when they face the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3:30, with tipoff scheduled for 4:35.

The Warriors (11-4), who are coming off their first loss in eight games, a 92-88 defeat at Boston on Thursday, laid a 135-114 beating on the 76ers one week ago in Oakland. They shot a season-high 58.5 percent from the field, including 51.9 percent beyond the arc.

The Sixers (8-6) started the season by losing four of their first five games but have recovered nicely, winning seven of their last nine. They rebounded from the loss to the Warriors by sweeping the Clippers and Lakers in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Warriors by 8.5

Draymond Green and Co. vs. Joel Embiid: The Warriors used a tag-team effort to lock down the Philadelphia big man last week, holding Embiid to 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds while forcing seven turnovers. It was a lesson in team defense, and they’ll try to repeat that performance. No fewer than five Warriors -- Zaza Pachulia, Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee, David West and Green -- will get chances to defend Embiid, who responded to a poor game in Oakland by combining for 87 points and 31 rebounds in torching the Clippers and the Lakers in LA.

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

76ers: G Jerryd Bayless (L wrist bruise) is listed as questionable. G/F Justin Anderson (L shin splints), G Markelle Fultz (right shoulder scapular muscle imbalance) and G Nik Stauskas (R ankle sprain) are listed as out.

Tony Brothers (crew chief), Bennie Adams and Lauren Holtkamp.

The Warriors have won the last nine meetings overall, the last four in Philadelphia. Their last loss in Philadelphia was on March 2, 2013.

WHAT ABOUT STEPH? Stephen Curry has fallen into a bit of a shooting rut, and it’s not necessarily related to the thigh bruise sustained last Saturday against 76ers. He is 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, including 9-of-33 (27.3) from deep, over his last four games; he was 34-of-58 (58.6) and 18-of-32 (56.3) in the four games before that. He’ll get opportunities against the Philly defense. Can he snap out of it?

I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y SPELLS INTENSITY: The Warriors are have a tough time shaking the habit of strolling through too many parts of games. After a first half in which they committed 13 turnovers and allowed Philly to shoot 52 percent, the Warriors last week used a third-quarter barrage to put the game away. After being freshly burned in Boston, expect them to bring some early fire, trying to bury the Sixers early and totally.

BEN SIMMONS PT. II: In sending a variety of defenders at the 6-foot-10 point guard, the Warriors kept Simmons off balance and turned him into a volume shooter. He took 17 shots, his second-highest total of the season, and made six. There is no reason to expect a substantial change, and this time the Warriors will add Andre Iguodala into the defensive mix.