That is why, understandably, they were not willing to raise expectations even further. Only a greater height from which to fall if it does not follow its path.
"I think we have a sense of urgency, period," said Kyle Lowry of Toronto. "No matter the situation, we want to be the first to reach the four, and each game is an urgent game … They still have professional basketball players."
Speaking of professionals, many questions addressed to the Raptors on Tuesday focused on the new defense coach Nick Nurse deployed only briefly in the fourth quarter of Sunday. The box and the 1 – an area defense consisting of four players, with the fifth badigned to pursue the greatest threat of scoring opponents, in this case Stephen Curry – It is more likely to be seen in college or in the high school competition.
The comments from both sides on the day of rest ranged from praising the nurse for having the guts to try the picture and the 1 to the implicit eyes on a strategy that does not seem worthy of the NBA, no matter NBA Finals quality.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr credited the tactic for briefly achieving his goal, but laughed when he talked about facing him as a ninth-grader.
The nurse explained her decision, which at least showed a willingness to innovate as needed and to think, er, out of the box.
"We had problems configuring our defense," he said. "We were having problems in the basket a bit, we had problems with the pace of the game there.
"We play in some area during the regular season, and you usually do it when the game is funky and there is a bad rhythm and maybe you can change it by simply slowing it down or stopping some of its cuts or whatever, it seemed to better protect the tire for us and Stop some of your cuts, and it was good, I do not know, I was just trying to find something to stop them. "
When Kawhi Leonard was asked if he thought the strategy could work for the advancing stretches, he got rid of a "probably not."
"Klay was definitely not on the ground at the time," Leonard said. "You also do not know when KD will return, so I do not think it works."
Lowry said: "Sometimes, when your coach draws something, you just keep doing that."
The Warriors were stuck at 106 points for five minutes late in the game, until Andre Iguodala's player They were 3 points with 5.9 seconds, and Curry was unusually ineffective in the fourth quarter.
That – and the memory of the monstrous drought before and after halftime (a 24-1 stretch) – I had several Raptores more concerned about their team's offense than their defense. They scored 14 fewer points in the second game, a decrease attributed to poor shots, not enough transition baskets and, in some cases, reluctance to take photos that were presented, shrinking at the time.
"Our defense has been pretty solid for most of the year," said veteran shooting guard Danny Green. "It has not been the problem for us, it's an offense to us, the reason why our defense, I suppose, has had some breaks, is because the offense has been bad in terms of turning the ball around or getting bad shots, which does not allow the defense to defend itself ".
Lowry had a big mess in Game 2, losing deeply in the fourth quarter. Fred VanVleet has been a force outside the Toronto bank, his minutes are answered by the nurse in response.
Green, familiar with The finals since his time with San Antonio, he feels he can do better than his 44 percent shot and 9.5 ppg. He almost needs it, because Kerr has used Curry, allowing his valued shipowner to move defensively.
Can the Raptors make Curry work more in that way?
"We have done a decent job," Green said. "Obviously we could do better, I think the most important key is to continue to chase him and try to keep him away from the free throw line, he has a lot of free throws. [22 of 23 so far] that we should not let him get it. Play with it without messing it up.
"But on our offensive end, we can probably do a better job."
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Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can send him an email here, find his file here and follow him on Twitter.
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