OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Mark Jackson, frustrated during a timeout, yelled and pushed point guard Stephen Curry.
No, Jackson didn't go Bobby Knight on Curry in Golden State's victory over Detroit on Wednesday. Jackson was demonstrating to the officials how they were allowing Curry to be handled.
The book on Curry, the most feared of the Warriors, is to be physical with him. So opponents, especially since Curry scored 54 points against the New York Knicks last month, have been especially hands-on while guarding him.
The defense-oriented Chicago Bulls undoubtedly will take a similar approach when they visit Oracle Arena on Friday.
"It is the game plan, and that's not going to change," Jackson said. "He's a heck of a basketball player. He's going to get to a point where they're not going to allow it, and he's going to be called properly. But for some reason or another, guys are being allowed to put hands on him."
Curry said he has noticed an uptick in the physical play. Opponents are putting bigger, more athletic players on him. They are aggressively trapping him. They grab, hold and bump as much as they can get away with.
It's the new reality for Curry, considered by many to be the league's best shooter.
"I'm not the biggest frame, but I'm strong and can handle my own," Curry said. "I'm not going to back down from it. I've got to play through it, because you can never rely on the whistle."
Jackson, who played
Jackson said Curry is getting better at dealing with the physical defenses. But he also said the Warriors needed to make a few adjustments.
First, Curry needs to do a better job of selling the contact.
Jackson and Curry stopped short of calling it flopping. But Curry said the shiftiness he uses to create space works against him sometimes. He said instead of avoiding or countering the contact, he needs to get better at sticking to his course so being knocked off it becomes more obvious.
"I think he's taking it and making it look at times like it's nothing," Jackson said. "Sometimes you've got to sell that it is (something). You think that they see it, but maybe they don't. So rather than playing through it, you've got to sell it. I'm not going to go to the extent of some of these guards who fling their head back and fling their bodies back and get the call. But he's got to let it be known there is contact on plays."
Both said the ability to sell contact is in the repertoire of the league's great scorers. That is the next part of Curry's development, drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line more, making opponents pay for playing him so tight. His 3.8 free throws per game are the fewest of the top 15 scorers in the league.
Curry said he also has to remind himself to slow down. Since the 54-point game, he has totaled 31 turnovers in eight games, the fifth most in the NBA in that span.
"At times I think I've struggled a little bit just trying to go too fast," Curry said. "They try to speed you up by getting physical, and you think you are under pressure and start to rush. That's one thing that I can consciously check myself on in the game, making sure I slow down and be confident if I make my move I can get to my spot."
Jackson said there was one more thing that can offset the physical play.
"If I'm his teammate, I'm not going to allow it," Jackson said. "So I'm going to nail somebody and get them off him. So we'll get better at that also."
While Jackson said he expects referees to start seeing how Curry is being handled, he also said this is more like playoff basketball and will be beneficial in the postseason.
Certainly Curry would become a much more lethal threat against physical defenses, especially in the half court. Especially when he is playing off the ball, when he has to deal with physical defenses even more.
"We've seen that when he's at his best, it doesn't matter what you try to do," Jackson said. "He's that good that I don't think there's an answer. But there is certainly an attempt to try to cool him off. (Be physical with him is) what the data shows, which we're fine with. We understand, and he'll continue to get better."
Chicago (35-29) at Warriors (37-29), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA