Draymond Green, Warriors ready for Raptors' box-and-1 scheme in Game 3

Draymond Green, Warriors ready for Raptors' box-and-1 scheme in Game 3

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors were rolling offensively.

They scored 18 points in the first 6 minutes and 21 seconds of the frame, making 7 of 10 shots from the field.

After Bogut's layup above, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse called timeout. That's when he decided to have Toronto play a box-and-one defense against Steph Curry.

"In the timeout, I was like, 'I'm thinking about going box-and-one. What do you guys think?'" Nuse told reporters on Tuesday. "And they're like, 'Well what does that look like?' And I drew the box and who would be where ... and Kyle (Lowry) was kind of the one that said, 'Yeah, man. That'll work. Let's go.'

"We were having trouble getting our defense set up. We were having trouble at the basket a little bit. And we were having trouble with the rhythm of the game ... we've played some zone during the regular season and we usually do it when the game is funky and there's a bad rhythm -- maybe you can change it, right?

"Just by slowing them down or stopping some of their cutting. It seemed to protect the rim better for us and stopped some of their cutting. It was good. I don't know. I was just trying to come up with something to stop them."

And stop them they did:

After this turnover, the Warriors missed their next six shots and Draymond Green turned the ball over with just under 52 seconds remaining.

Fortunately for Golden State, Andre Iguodala saved the day with his dagger 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

If the Raptors use the box-and-one again in Game 3 -- which might depend on whether Klay Thompson suits up or not -- Draymond is confident the Dubs will get better results.

[WARRIORS OUTSIDERS PODCASTDubs outlast Raptors, even Finals at 1-1]

"I think they'll probably throw more of that box-and-one -- or whatever they were doing with Steph -- out there," he told Allie LaForce on NBATV. "It was kind of a shocker when they threw that out there.

"We've seen it now so I plan on dicing it up if they throw it out there again."

Lastly, when it was brought to Nurse's attention that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that he had never seen anybody use the box-and-one in the NBA, Nurse responded by asking:

"Everybody's making fun of me for it, right?"

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Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the waning moments of the Warriors' latest loss Friday night, their bench resembled the front row of a fashion show more than a functioning NBA roster.

Toward the end of the bench, All-Star guard Stephen Curry sat in a black suit jacket, covering a massive cast protecting his broken left hand. To Curry's left, center Kevon Looney sat in a gray suit, his immediate future in peril as he continues to seek answers about an injured hamstring.

That type of visual has become commonplace over the last month.

Over that stretch, 11 Warriors players have been sidelined with injuries, crippling a roster that seemed armed with an outside shot of making the playoffs on opening night just three weeks ago.

The latest blow came Saturday morning, when an MRI confirmed that D'Angelo Russell had suffered a sprained thumb, sidelining him for at least two weeks. Over his previous six games, the guard had averaged 29.7 points on 48 percent shooting from the field, including a 52-point, nine-rebound performance against Minnesota, so his absence will be felt.

That's because the Warriors are in roster transition, marked by their youthful core.

When Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall were drafted in June, the expectation was that the rookies would be brought along slowly, learning behind Golden State's battered All-Star cast. The myriad injuries changed that, though, forcing both into more minutes than initially anticipated.

While Paschall has flourished in that spot (15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game), Poole has struggled. Since Curry's injury in the fourth game of the season, Poole has shot 29 percent from the field, and he has hit just five of his last 28 shots over his last two contests.

The trickle-down effect started on the eve of training camp, when Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced that center Willie Cauley-Stein would miss most of October with a foot strain. Two days later, rookie Alen Smailagic rolled his ankle and Looney strained his hamstring in the same controlled scrimmage.

Last month, Curry broke his hand, sidelining the guard until at least February. Two nights later, forward Draymond Green tore a ligament in his left index finger. On Monday, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand.

Amid all those injuries, Warriors coach Steve Kerr trotted out his ninth starting lineup of the season Friday, with two-way guard Ky Bowman at the point. For a moment, it worked.

Midway through the third quarter, Bowman intercepted a pass, ran cross court and dunked over Grant Williams, cutting the Celtics' lead to three. Two minutes later, Alec Burk stripped Boston guard Brandon Wanamaker, setting up a fast-break layup that gave Golden State a brief 82-80 lead before the Celtics rallied and held on in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors' current reality is much different than their immediate past. After winning 78 percent of their games over five years, they now find themselves with a roster that lost Kevin Durant to free agency, while Curry and Klay Thompson's rehabs are expected to last until at least February. Their 2-11 record is the NBA's worst.

[RELATED: How die-hard Warriors fans can stay optimistic]

Minutes after the final buzzer Friday, there were reminders of potential hopes lost. Curry's hand swelled out of his cast as he walked near a team official. In the locker room, Paschall sported an ice pack on his right hand, and Poole reconciled an ankle injury that he said wouldn't affect him.

As the Warriors packed for another road trip, potentially with just eight healthy bodies for the foreseeable future, another reminder that the team's development is coming at a hefty price was evident.

Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain


Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain

Add another one to the list.

After leaving Friday night’s loss to the Celtics with a thumb injury, an MRI has confirmed a right thumb sprain for All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell.

Russell will not travel with the team on the upcoming four-game road trip and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Golden State’s already lengthy injury report adds another name, as the team now stands with just nine healthy players as the team embarks for New Orleans on Saturday to kick off the trip.