Raptors coach Nick Nurse explains team using gimmicky box-and-one defense vs. Warriors

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SportsPulse: The NBA Finals have been a game of adjustments through two games. With DeMarcus Cousins having a major impact on Game 2, Trysta Krick finds out what the Raptors have in store to answer for Game 3.
USA TODAY

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Toronto Raptors were struggling late in Game 2, and coach Nick Nurse searched for ways to slow down Golden State’s offense.

So he employed an unusual defense used mostly in elementary and high schools and rarely in the NBA: a box-and-one defense designed to limit Warriors star guard Steph Curry.

What is a box-and-one? It’s a scheme where four players are in zone defense – two near the top of the key and two near the basket and one player defending another player, usually a great player or scorer, man-to-man. The goal: prevent that player from beating you.

“I don’t remember ever seeing it in the NBA,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.

The box-and-one – a gimmick in the NBA – actually worked. Toronto got back in the game with defensive stops, and its offense found some rhythm. Golden State won but after weathering an impressive Warriors run, the Raptors trailed by just two points with 26.9 seconds left.

“I was…

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