When the Raptors went up against the Warriors in Game 2, they did so with the intention of attacking them defensively. Forget outscoring a team like Golden State. Toronto is going the other direction and attempting to win this series on defense, which makes sense with players like Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Kyle Lowry on the roster. One player who didn’t appreciate the Raptors defense though was Stephen Curry.
The Warriors star commented on their defensive tactics after the game, calling it “janky” and then taking it a step further by criticizing them for leaving Andre Iguodala open in the closing moments. To that point, Curry is dead on because Iguodala could not have been any more open had he tried.
So what was so “janky” about the Raptors defense? Well, they were running a system that you rarely ever see in the NBA. A Box-And-1 system.
Yep, that’s a middle school/high school level defense being played at an NBA level. Quite effectively, by the way! Of course, that didn’t make it look any less weird to professional observers such as Curry’s brother Seth Curry and Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker.
If Curry wants to call the Raptors defense janky, he can, but he can’t say the decision to run it didn’t work. When the Raptors brought this out, the Warriors went on a five-minute stretch without scoring. Curry himself was a ghost on offense. He didn’t take a single shot or score a single point in the seven minutes he played in the fourth quarter. Call that defense what you want. It held down one of the NBA’s most prolific scoring offenses in the closing moments of the game. It might have worked too had the Raptors, you know, covered Iguodala at the end.
If you ask Nick Nurse, though, he thinks the Warriors weren’t being disrespectful at all.
Q. Steph said after the game to Doris Burke that he thought it was, in his words, disrespectful to leave a player like Iguodala that wide open. What did you think of that?
NICK NURSE: Well, we weren’t disrespecting anybody. We were up guarding hard, and we put two on Steph and he almost threw it right to Kawhi, right? It was pretty good defense, they were scrambling around, running around like crazy. And they found Iggy, right, and they found him and like I said, if he’s going to take that and give us a chance to get the ball back and win the game, we’re going to probably live with that. It wasn’t like we were disrespecting him and not trying to guard him. We were in a trap and rotating out of there, and again, I would like to go back and try that again about ten times, and see if one of them doesn’t go our way.