OAKLAND -- Yes, Mark Jackson has made the big, brash proclamation before, but now the words are framed by playoff accomplishment and national attention.
After Stephen Curry's and Klay Thompson's scintillating Game 2 tandem performance, could they be fulfilling Jackson's repeated claim that they're the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history?
Better than, ahem, the Lakers' Hall of Fame duo of Jerry West and Gail Goodrich?
"I don't get into those things," West, a member of the Warriors executive board, said with a laugh Wednesday. "I'm happy Mark said that. They're great shooters.
"But I want them to become the greatest backcourt that ever played together."
The ceiling just gets higher and higher for Thompson and Curry, who combined for 51 points and 15 assists and missed only 13 shots in the Warriors' series-turning 131-117 torching of Denver on Tuesday.
Curry is finishing his fourth NBA season; Thompson's in his second. And the Warriors rely on their deep, deep shooting more than any playoff backcourt in recent memory.
So, Jackson's contention is intriguing because it's essentially unprovable and yet so emblematic of his and his team's shoot-for-the-moon style.
Sometimes it looks like Thompson and Curry have the green light to shoot from the moon.
"You look at them, and there's still considerable improvement they can make," West said. "And they're already very good, both of them.
"You just don't see shooting like that from people in this league anymore. I'm glad they're on our side, that's for sure."
It's all part of Jackson's method -- pump up his guys, lean on them and hope to come out victorious enough times to keep moving through the playoffs.
It's bombast, but when Curry and Thompson are shooting the way they did in Game 2 -- and if they can continue the pace through the playoffs -- it can make opponents spin in circles.
"I humbly submit to you I've seen Jerry West and Gail Goodrich -- and there's no disrespect to them," Jackson said Wednesday.
"I was a guy that was not guessing. I was an Earl Monroe guy -- so the same era. I remember Earl and Frazier going against Goodrich and Jerry West.
"Those were two good shooters. I'm dealing with two great shooters."
Chris Mullin -- no shabby shooter himself -- said this is a perfect instance of Jackson giving his key players the freedom to achieve big things.
But Mullin also points out that Curry just set the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a season and that Thompson is a knockdown, spot-up shooter.
"It's all about the now, right? So right now, yeah, they're the best ever," Mullin said. "Mark knows his guys; he knows he's boosting confidence. It's the right button to push.
"I think Mark deserves a lot of credit. Those guys have total confidence, the green light, and they've been able to consistently make those shots. That's the confidence of the coach rubbing off on the players."
Of course, the same backcourt that shot the Warriors to the lead in one game can shoot them out of the next one.
The advantage for the Warriors in this series: Denver plays a similar style but doesn't have anything close to the Curry-Thompson combination from the perimeter.
Jackson knows that, it's why he keeps talking about it, and it's up to Denver to stop it ... or else Curry and Thompson will keep this debate going into the second round.
Denver at Warriors, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2, CSNBA
Warriors rookies showing they're not afraid of the playoff spotlwight. PAGE 6
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