The Golden State Warriors picked up a dominant win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. One of the biggest reasons for their win was the defense they played on Luka Doncic.
The Warriors stifled Luka Doncic, and never let him get going. It was a solid defensive effort from the Warriors, and their defensive scheme worked very well. But surprisingly, Stephen Curry called this same scheme 'janky' in the past.
In 2019, when the Golden State Warriors played against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse instructed his players to run a box-and-1 defense, a defensive approach where four defenders protect a zone while the fifth player follows an opponent.
Stephen Curry called this defensive scheme janky. But the Warriors were able to implement it very well later down the line. Prior to the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors used this same scheme to guard Trae Young. And Curry was elated with how it worked, complimenting the scheme and the players' execution of it.
The Warriors broke it out in a November game against the Atlanta Hawks, and Curry said he "loved" it, praising the strategy while also calling it a "gimmick."
Since the strategy worked so well, Steve Kerr instructed his players to run the scheme on Luka Doncic, and it worked to great effect. Luka Doncic went 6-18 from the field and 3-10 from the three-point line. Limiting Doncic allowed the Warriors to pick up the win.
Draymond Green, the Warriors' best defender, knows what Doncic is capable of, recently comparing him to LeBron James. So there is no doubt that he and the rest of the Warriors will be very careful when it comes to guarding the Slovenian superstar.