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.
The Game 2 box score says Steph Curry didn’t have a single assist in the 4th quarter. That’s why you have to actually watch the game to understand what happened pic.twitter.com/ebsUPRU2l9— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 3, 2019
If anybody ever tries to tell you that Steph Curry is overrated and/or not one of the best ever, just watch this clip... (Kawhi and Gasol trap him 45 feet from the basket because, well, Curry is terrifying) pic.twitter.com/CPdUyskw1O— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 3, 2019
Draymond had a wide open lane to throw this lob to Bogut because Curry collapsed the defense and the Raptors were in major scramble mode (but Curry gets nothing in the box score for this) pic.twitter.com/1GALzOtvZL— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 3, 2019
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:
Here’s the first possession of the Raptors going box-and-1 on Curry. Look at Nick Nurse jumping around on the sideline. Haha. It worked here for sure but how is this a foul on Curry? VanVleet stops and pushes Curry... pic.twitter.com/ytjrIC7HTV— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 3, 2019
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 PODCAST: Dubs 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?"