Cleveland Cavaliers altered defensive strategy against Warriors’ Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry

SAN FRANCISCO — The key to slowing down any prolific scorer is giving him different looks — throughout the game and series. The Cleveland Cavaliers have used that strategy throughout the postseason and they are finally starting to implement it with Golden State’s top two scoring options, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

While LeBron James has spent plenty of time guarding Durant and expects to do it more as the series continues, Richard Jefferson stepped to the forefront in Game 4.

“Well, I’ve guarded K.D. since he came into this league,” Jefferson said prior to the Cavaliers’ practice Sunday afternoon in Oakland. “He’s one of the best talents that this league has seen. It’s the same with guarding LeBron. I had to do that. All the high-level small forwards. Carmelo (Anthony). These are guys that are very different players. They’re all very unique talents, and so you have your hands full when you get that opportunity to guard them.”

Jefferson was at the center of Cleveland’s Finals comeback last year. Once a member of the Warriors who fits this style well, Jefferson used his quickness, athleticism, energy and toughness to increase the perimeter pressure and take Golden State out of its offensive rhythm. That defensive shift helped fuel the historic rally.

He’s showing flashes of that once again, with his minutes increasing from the

Article source: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2017/06/cleveland_cavaliers_altering_d.html

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