Warriors Coach Mark Jackson Says Nuggets Sent 'Hit Men' at Stephen Curry
UPDATE: Thursday, May 2, at 6:56 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Jackson has been fined $25,000 for his comments following Game 5:
NBA has fined Mark Jackson $25,000 for an "attempt to influence the officiating" after Game 5 vs. Denver.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 2, 2013
---End of update---
The Nuggets defeated the Warriors by a score of 107-100 to cut Golden State's series lead to 3-2. During the game, there was a lot of physical play as the two teams combined for 48 personal fouls.
According to 9News Sports Denver, Jackson did not mince his words during a postgame interview.
"They tried to send hitmen at Steph [Curry]," Mark Jackson said. "Make no mistake. We went up 3-1 playing hard, clean basketball."— 9NEWS Sports Denver (@9NEWSSports) May 1, 2013
This statement did not come without rebuttal.
Rather than denying that they engaged in overly rough play, the Nuggets simply acknowledged that this is playoff basketball. After both teams traded physical barbs through the first four games, it came down to Denver getting tired of being bullied.
Per Andre Iguodala, it was their turn to deal out the pain.
"They [the #Warriors ] brought the physicality to the series, we were just tired of being the receivers" Andre Iguodala said.— 9NEWS Sports Denver (@9NEWSSports) May 1, 2013
The Nuggets didn't stop there, as they laughed off the idea that they were playing dirty. The team's best gem came from the always entertaining JaVale McGee. Per Vic Lombardi of Denver's CBS 4, McGee responded to the notion that the Nuggets played dirty by throwing a similar accusation Golden State's way.
Best comeback came from Javale McGee: "If we're dirty, they're unsanitary". Classic b— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 1, 2013
With these accusations being thrown left and right, it's only rational to believe that Curry would chime in. On the topic of physicality, he staked his claim that both sides put their fair share of brutality forward, but some instances were out of line.
However, Curry knows he can't let anything stop him from finding his rhythm, per Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.
-Q: Was any of it cheap?
-CURRY: There were a couple, man. I’m going through the paint minding my own business and they come out of nowhere, trying to throw elbows and stuff like that.
-Q: Was the shot from Faried the one that bothered you most?
-CURRY: Yeah, I understand if I’m going to the basket you want to give a hard foul, it’s the playoffs. We did the same thing. You don’t want anybody to feel comfortable on the court.
But there’s a time and place...Just keep playing.
Both of these teams have been physical thus far, with neither allowing points in the paint to come without retaliation. While there is no question that the coaches will complain if it means keeping their star players safe, this is postseason basketball.
As for the fans quick to crucify Jackson, don't forget that Nuggets head coach George Karl had the same complaint about Andrew Bogut (via Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle).
George Karl on Andrew Bogut: "He does a lot of little things. He sets illegal screens, pushes guys around, tries to taunt and flaunt."— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) April 29, 2013
With the series heading back to a raucous Oracle Arena in Oakland, it will be interesting to see if Game 6 provides any "hit men" on either side.
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