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Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl stresses he’s not setting illegal screens

Jakob Poeltl, Spurs

San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl stressed he’s not setting illegal screens, after claims of a dirty play on Denver Nuggets point man Jamal Murray ran rampant after Game 6.

Poeltl set a tough screen on Murray after flipping the side on an outlet pass to Derrick White, quickly getting in position, though extending part of his leg, which wound up clipping Murray in the left thigh:

“I think there have been some illegal screens that have been missed, and the response from the league (after the Nuggets submitted the plays for review) has been that we’re right,” said Nuggets head coach Mike Malone, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “But for some reason, they don’t catch them during the game. Obviously Jamal got taken out on that play. I don’t know if it was dirty or not.”

However, Poeltl maintains he was setting legal ones all along:

“I think I am setting legal screens,” he said. “If I’m not, somebody is going to let me know about it. I’m not really worried about it.”

Malone, who argued for the sake of his player after he was seen hobbling to the sideline, noted Poeltl isn’t known to play dirty:

“Jakob Poeltl sets nice screens,” said Malone, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “He gets guys open. I’m jealous. Give him credit. He is out there putting wood on people, and we have to do the same. In the playoffs, it goes up a level, and you need that physicality.”

Malone’s roster consists mostly of finesse big men like Nikola Jokic, Juancho Hernangomez and Paul Millsap, but a rugged customer like Mason Plumlee could reciprocate that wood in Game 7, if need be.