The Denver Nuggets employed a 2-3 zone to help slow Golden State’s powerful offense in Denver’s 114-105 win.
I have put together some clips that show why it was so effective. Eduardo Najera did a great job of covering over 200 square feet from the rim out to the three point line. Because Najera was roaming so far from the paint it put pressure on the other four Nugget players to help cover even more ground themselves.
It was surprising to see the Nuggets work as such a unit in these clips. For a vast majority of the season it is difficult to figure out if they had all received different and conflicting instructions in the huddle. However, they implemented a very unorthodox zone scheme against the Warriors and appeared to be sharing a single consciousness. One thing I did not point out in the video was how the two outside baseline players did a great job of pinching in the middle when Najera was at the top of the key and then how well they reacted back out towards the perimeter.
This defense helped save the day for Denver as they stifled the Golden State offense long enough to turn a 16 point deficit into a six point lead in the first six minutes of the second quarter.