Programming note: Coverage of Game 6 between the Warriors and Clippers begins Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Channel locations)
OAKLAND -– With the global pyrotechnics ignited by estranged Clippers owner Donald Sterling now behind them, the Warriors on Wednesday returned to their facility refocused on basketball.
Well, sort of.
The tone and inflection of Mark Jackson's voice suggests the coach would welcome a few fireworks from his troops against the Clippers in Game 6 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena than he witnessed in Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples Center.
The coach seemed particularly concerned with the lack of scrap against Los Angeles big man DeAndre Jordan, whose Game 5 performance -– 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks -– pushed his team to victory.
[REWIND: No answer for Jordan]
"We did a poor job competing against him," Jackson said before a light practice. "Early on the ballgame, he ducks in and gets a dunk. It takes the life out of you a little bit. We've got to do a better job. We've got to own the fact that we didn't do it. And we've got to do a better job."
"It's easy to say, well, we're short-handed. That's an excuse. Find a way to get it done. It's documented that we can do it, in previous games."
The Warriors neutralized Jordan in Game 4 by utilizing power forward David Lee in the role of center. Lee, after a disappointing Game 3, vowed he'd be up to the task in Game 4. And he delivered.
Lee did not duplicate his effort in a 113-103 loss in Game 5.
"We know how he's going to get his points," Lee said. "It's off rebounds when you help on their other guys, him getting lobs on the back end. I've got to start the game doing a better job of keeping him off the glass. It's a tough task, but it's something, as we saw in Game 4, that I'm capable doing."
Jackson, whose job security may be tied to the results of this series, is beyond the words. He's ready for action, for a team willing to put up a fight.
"It's just battling," Jackson said, never singling out any of his defenders. "When you look at the tape, it's just battling. And there are times when we did not."
As Jackson noted Jordan's aggressive tactics –- "throwing you out of the way, shoving you out of the way, pushing you out of the way and going to get the basketball" -– there was a clear tone of admiration.
The coach is exceedingly hopeful that his team, especially his big men, will bring not only the obvious talent and skill but also grit and scrap required to defeat a team deemed superior by measured statistics.