There was a lot of talk about whether or not the Spurs would look to send a message in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, in response to Zaza Pachulia getting a bit too close to Kawhi Leonard on Sunday, resulting in an ankle injury.
The reality is that players have been closing on shooters for a long time, as every point counts in the playoffs, and teams will do whatever they can to win.
But now, in the age of social media, we put everything under a microscope, and any play that can be construed as being even the slightest bit controversial is called into question.
So when LaMarcus Aldridge appeared to do the same thing on Tuesday night that Pachulia did in Game 1, the social media world went nuts.
It happened in the second quarter of the game, with Aldridge guarding Kevin Durant, who attempted a long jumper. Aldridge appeared to step out toward Durant, and then awkwardly took another step as well, which caused KD to land on his foot.
Luckily, Durant was OK afterward, and he downplayed the incident after the game.
It’s hard to tell whether or not Aldridge’s act was purposeful. On one hand, it makes sense for the Spurs’ leader to send a message to the Warriors. But on the other, big men are known to guard players in an awkward manner when they’re forced to step out on the perimeter.