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NBA coaches weigh value of gimmick defenses

Atlanta guard Kevin Huerter saw gimmick defenses throughout high school and college. Box-and-ones, triangle-and-twos and variations thereof, they weren’t exactly uncommon for opponents to try.

In the NBA, they’re a rarity.

And Huerter says the reason is simple.

“I honestly just think players are too good,” he said.

Coaches may agree. The Toronto Raptors famously and effectively used a box-and-one against Warriors guard Stephen Curry late in the fourth quarter of Game 2 in last season’s NBA Finals, though that was in a situation where the Warriors’ other elite scorers — Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson — were both out with injuries.