OAKLAND -- Mark Jackson admits he has had fun announcing big man Carl Landry as a Warriors starter throughout their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, then going with the significantly smaller Jarrett Jack.
But two strategic moves might force the Golden State coach to actually follow through with Landry as the starter in Game 6. First, the Nuggets had great success going with a bigger lineup at the outset of Game 5 on Tuesday, and second, they woke up to the fact that they needed to deal with Jack by moving their best defender onto him.
Regarding Denver coach George Karl's first tactical shift -- going big -- Warriors center Andrew Bogut expects more of the same Thursday night when the teams meet at Oracle Arena.
"I expect them to come out the same way they did (in Game 5) because of the success they had with that starting lineup," Bogut said.
If that's the case, does Bogut need help, and will the Warriors counter big with big?
"You know, I'm not sure," Bogut said. "That's a question better suited for coach. But obviously, we have to make an adjustment because they started out like gangbusters against us with that lineup."
Jackson wouldn't tip his hand as to how he might respond to Denver's bigger starting five, other to say he expects the Nuggets to once again try to be more physical, and specifically, rough up star guard Stephen Curry. But he maintained wholesale changes that respond to the Nuggets' moves might not be necessary.
"Some people say yes, but we know who we are," the coach said. "When we do the things we're supposed to do, we're going to be just fine. Our problem was we didn't take care of the basketball, they scored in the paint, they got it going in transition, and they outrebounded us. But we know what will take place when we handle our business."
Perhaps the most overlooked Nuggets move in the wake of all the chatter about Game 5's physicality and dirty play was Karl's decision to move swingman Andre Iguodala -- one of the league's best perimeter defenders, if not the best -- to guard both Jack and Curry at times, although he spent most of his time on Jack.
Iguodala was utilized to contain shooting guard Klay Thompson through much of the first four games and was effective doing so. But with Jack averaging 23.3 points in Games 2, 3 and 4 and shooting 73.7 percent (28 of 38) from the floor, Iguodala got the call to slow him down. Jack was only 7 of 16 in the Game 5 loss in Denver.
"Just trying to take some steam off of their guy. He's a wild card and has played well throughout the series," Iguodala told the Denver Post after the game. "He has a little shimmy-shake in his game, and it's a little harder for him to shoot when I'm guarding him. Gave him a different look."
Jack admitted Iguodala, who was a huge Game 5 presence with 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to go along with his defense, presented a different kind of challenge but maintained it wasn't as dramatic a strategy as it may have looked.
"Yeah, he's athletic and he's a good defender, but I still got every shot I wanted," he said. "He's a longer defender, obviously. He's taller than me. Maybe (Karl's) just putting him on me to try and disrupt things. I don't know if that's their angle or not. But I thought our problem, at least in the first half, was ball movement, not anything they did."
But like Bogut, Jack believes Karl will double down on Denver's Game 5 strategy.
"They're probably going to go with the mold that if it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said. "So I'm sure they're going to start (JaVale) McGee and probably put Iguodala on me, as well.
"But I put that on my shoulders, us getting more movement offensively, because they're a team that if they can just stand still and jump out in the passing lanes, they're a very, very tough ballclub."