Responding to Mark Jackson's accusations of Denver "sending hit men" at Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Nuggets coach George Karl said Wednesday that his team was only trying to make Curry "uncomfortable." Karl told the media that he wasn't trying to target the spindly point guard, who has dealt with his fair share of ankle issues.
"On March 7th Mark Jackson was asked a question, 'How do you cover Stephen Curry?' And I think the answer was you gotta rough him up a little bit," said Karl. "I don't want to rough him up, I just want to make him uncomfortable. I want him to feel that he's our number one priority. He's not the only guy - they got big guys we got to be physical with inside and control the paint."
Curry went 9-for-17 in Tuesday's 107-100 loss to the Nuggets. After the game, Jackson did little to censor himself in calling out Denver for targeting his point guard. The Golden State coach went as far as saying he had inside knowledge that the Nuggets were playing "dirty," and he believed they were specifically going after Curry's ankles. Jackson pointed to one play by Denver forward Kenneth Faried as an example.
On Wednesday, Faried told Denver Stiffs that he thought Jackson was talking about the Nuggets targeting Curry's shoulder. Curry had complained that he thought one play by Nuggets big man JaVale McGee could have injured his shoulder, according to the Denver Post. Faried also pointed out that he had been dealing with his own ankle injury that kept him from Game 1 of the series.
"I thought they were mad about the shoulder," said Faried. "I wasn't even thinking about his ankle, honestly, I forgot it was injured - I'm so worried about my own. He walked through and I was giving him a bump."
Faried has been at the center of the physical play. He said he felt like his team was roughed up through the first three games of the series, and after kicking a hole in the Warriors' visiting locker room, he said that he's only tried to match that play -- without being dirty, of course.
Dirty or not, the win pulled Denver off the mat and cut into the series deficit, which sits at 3-2 in favor of the Warriors heading to Game 6 Thursday.