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Why injury woes could gift Raptors solution to Splash Brothers conundrum

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SAN FRANCISCO — Now you see them, now you don’t. Blink and they’re gone.

This is the problem facing the Toronto Raptors as the NBA Finals shift back to the centre of power for the Golden State Warriors — Oracle Arena, where so many teams with aspirations of knocking them off have been humbled and often crumble.

‘See ball and man’ is the fundamental precept of defending away from the ball but Warriors guards Klay Thompson and Steph Curry thrive in those moments — split seconds really — where their defenders have to turn their head, attend to a distraction or navigate around an obstacle.

It’s the source of the Warriors’ magic. And why the news that Thompson is questionable for Game 3 with a hamstring strain could be a series-shifting development for the Raptors.

“Their offence is built off that basically,” says Raptors guard Danny Green, who defends both Curry and Thompson. “Our offence at times is … you try to make a play for yourself or a teammate at the rim, kicking it and then finding space on the other end, and hopefully they fell asleep, just non-stop moving.

“But their offence is based on that [movement]. All they do is try to find those two guys and run off screens and make sure if they don’t got the first shot, they’re going to try and get a second or third look somewhere on the other side of the floor.”

At peak efficiency it’s two incredible shooters, running around, pausing, sprinting, setting up screens, looking for moments when the defence is distracted by the ball and relocating to a spot where the ball can find them and where all they need is........

© Sportsnet