OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry was ready to be done with talk of targeting and hit men Wednesday as the Warriors prepared for Game 6 of their opening-round playoff series against Denver on Thursday night.
But coach Mark Jackson wasn't quite ready to let go of the rough treatment Curry received in Game 5 in Denver on Tuesday, specifically what he viewed as an intentional attempt by Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried to kick his star guard's ankle.
"I can live with physical basketball. Taking a stab at Steph Curry's ankle is not physical basketball," Jackson said, picking up where he left off in the immediate aftermath after Game 5. "You can hit him. I was even caught on tape being asked what would happen if I played against him and he heated up. I'd be physical with him. So that's understandable. It's not hypocritical. But there's no part of me that says I'd be dirty with him.
"If you attempt to kick him with your foot on his foot, that's not a basketball play. That's a cheap shot."
From Curry's next-day point of view, however, he wasn't even sure the Faried play was on purpose. Whether it was or not, he's ready to move on.
"When I looked at the film afterward, we did kind of get our feet tangled up a little bit," Curry said. "I don't what (Faried's) intentions were, but I'm not worried about it. I'm just going to try to play my game."
While Denver's alleged attempt to rough up the Warriors guard was the hot media topic, Curry maintained it's ancient history as far as he and his teammates are concerned.
"Nobody's really talking about it in the locker room. We're just approaching Game 6 like normal. You can't get distracted by that. We have a chance to close out the series at home, it's a big opportunity we have to take advantage of. If we come out and make good basketball plays and set the tone early, we should be in good shape and not get caught up in the physicality that's not in line with our game.
So why is Jackson continuing to belabor it?
"Coach is just doing his job as a coach to bring attention to what he feels should be looked at," Curry said. "But as players, we're not going to get caught up in that mini-game of letting a foul hard here or a foul hard there take away from the way we've been playing in this series."
But in addition to revisiting the Faried play, Jackson also sounded like coach sending a message to the league and Game 6 referees that they need to be doing a better job protecting one of the NBA's premier players.
"Steph Curry is a star basketball player, some would say he's a superstar basketball player," Jackson said. "He's on the floor for 42 minutes against a team whose game plan is to be physical with him, and he does not get to the foul line. Unheard of. That needs to be looked at."
Asked what strategic maneuvers Denver might try in Game 6 at Oracle Arena, Jackson continued to pound the mugging theme.
"I have no expectations as far what they're going to do," he said. "But obviously, they'll be physical again. They'll try to beat up Steph Curry. They'll try to set illegal screens. They'll try to chuck him when he goes down the lane. Their trump card is to try to be a little more physical and try to beat up our star player."
Physically, Curry said he feels better than he has at any point since spraining his left ankle in Game 1. As for assertions that a number of Denver players were calling Curry "soft" throughout the game, he just chuckled.
"Trash talk happens and guys try to get under your skin however they can," he said. "Hey, I chirp back. It's fun. It's a competitive environment and I'm not going to snitch on who's talking and who's not."