Zaza Pachulia settles in among Warriors’ cast of stars

OAKLAND — Now in his third full month as a Golden State Warrior, Zaza Pachulia is feeling right at home as a member of the team’s star-laden starting five.

No play better epitomized Pachulia’s growing comfort level with his new team than the no-look, over-the-head pass he flung to Stephen Curry in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 117-106 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

“Zaza’s got a little flair to him,” head coach Steve Kerr said of the veteran center after practice on Monday. “He likes making plays like that — not that he’s constantly making [them], but he’s got a little of that in him and I know he had fun with that play.”

When asked about his recent run of strong play, which includes four consecutive double-figure games, Pachulia couldn’t settle on a single explanation.

“I wish there was a specific answer I could give to you to that was accurate,” Pachulia said. “I just feel more comfortable. Maybe I’m in better shape. Maybe I wasn’t in as good of shape as now in the beginning of the season. I don’t know. Something changed.”

At the beginning of the month, Pachulia said his New Year’s resolution was to become more aggressive on the court, which he admitted was a challenge task since he shares the floor with four All-Stars.

“I’d never been in this situation,” Pachulia said. “Maybe had one of two stars, but not like 10 superstars.”

Kerr on Curry: ‘He’s in a great place’
Just a week ago, much of the talk surrounding Stephen Curry — at least on a national level — related to the supposed demise of the reigning unanimous MVP during the Kevin Durant era in Golden State.

That narrative is on hold after Curry averaged 31.8 points per game in the Dubs’ past four contests to secure Western Conference Player of the Week award.

“I think Steph as I’ve seen him kind of navigate this season from training camp until now, he’s in a great place,” Kerr said. “He had to figure a lot of things out early — how to accommodate KD, how to keep everybody involved. As to where he is now, there’s no doubt in his mind what he needs to do, how he needs to play. But we had to get to this point through 30-whatever games, 38 games.”

For Curry, the Player of the Week honor is the eighth of his career, which is the most in franchise history.

David West talks Kerr vs. Popovich
After spending the 2015-16 season with the San Antonio Spurs, backup big-man David West is familiar with playing for both Kerr and Gregg Popovich, one of the mentors of the Warriors head coach.

“I think he’s got the communication piece from him,” West said when asked what Kerr has learned from Popovich. “Just being clear with the group [and] constantly reiterating the same message about who we are and what we’re going to do night in and night out regardless of the opponent.”

West also revealed a surprising difference.

“He’s probably not as rah-rah as Pop,” West said of the veteran coach who is famous for his terse in-game interviews.

When apprised of West’s comments, Kerr backed up the assessment.

“I’m not that rah-rah,” Kerr said. “Pop gets pretty fired up sometimes. I’m probably a little more even-keeled.”

“Pop says he goes Serbian. That’s his line. ‘When I go Serbian, look out!’ I guess I go Scottish. I don’t know. That doesn’t have the same ring to it. Whatever.”

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