OAKLAND — For a no-excuse coach, Mark Jackson sure had lots of excuses after the Warriors lost to Denver on Tuesday night.
Read what Jackson said after Game 5. He was referring to a hard foul Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried laid on Stephen Curry. Jackson thought Faried intentionally went after Curry's ankle:
“I've got inside information,” Jackson said, “that some people don't like that brand of basketball, and they clearly didn't co-sign it, so they wanted to let me know that they had no part in what was taking place.” He also said the Nuggets sent “hit men” at Curry — “hit men” is plural.
Jackson makes two provocative points. 1) The Nuggets played dirty in the game, and they did it continually. 2) Someone who matters, almost surely a Nuggets player or assistant coach there on the court, didn't approve.
If you can interpret Jackson's words another way, please tell me.
On Wednesday, Jackson and players made themselves available to the media. Jackson reiterated Faried's play was dirty.
Someone asked if that was the only dirty play by Denver. Jackson said, “If Steph Curry's running through the lane early in the first quarter and Kenneth Faried chucks him — (Curry) doesn't have the basketball — that's not a clean play, but it's a playoff play. So I'm not complaining about that.
“If you go to his ankles while he's cutting through the lane, that's not a basketball play. As simple as that. Can't be debated. Don't address all the other plays. Show that one play, and then address that.” Jackson also said of that play, “That's the one that stood out to me.”
In other words, Jackson's postgame snit, his assertion of hit men, amounted to one play in 48 minutes of a hard-fought and passionate game.
I asked Curry if he thinks Faried intentionally played the hit man on him.
“I got pretty fiery back at Faried,” Curry said. “If I don't have the ball, you don't expect it to happen. I just wanted to let it be known I wasn't going to accept it. I looked at the film afterwards. Our feet kind of tangled up a little bit, but I don't know what his intentions were.”