Damian Lillard didn’t even get a chance to tie Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in the final seconds on Thursday night. Andre Iguodala didn’t allow him the chance.
The Golden State Warriors veteran proved just how valuable he is by locking up Lillard on the final possession. He protected a 114-111 lead by getting a steal to keep Portland from having a chance to tie the game.
As soon as Iguodala got the steal and the Warriors won, he went running off the court like they had just stolen the game.
Iguodala’s numbers in the boxscore do not stand out. He had just four points, five rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes, but he made one of the biggest plays of the game when it counted the most.
Between this and how great he was against Houston, averaging 13.5 points per game on 60.4 percent shooting, Warriors fans have to be ecstatic over what they’re getting from the veteran.
Golden State now leads the Western Conference finals 2-0. Game 3 will be on Saturday in Portland.
Andre Iguodala suffered a knee injury in the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 4 Monday night, but the veteran swingman is not expected to miss any time in the series because of it.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that tests revealed no structural damage in Iguodala’s left knee, and he is expected to play in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Iguodala appeared to tweak his knee late in the fourth quarter of Game 4, when Chris Paul ran into his leg as Iguodala was grabbing a rebound on a missed free throw.
Despite being 35, Iguodala still plays a significant role for the Warriors, and Steve Kerr recently indicated that he does not see that changing any time soon. With Golden State having lost two straight games and the series tied 2-2, they need all of their important players healthy and available. Iguodala will be at least one of those things on Wednesday night.
Clint Capela made a statement with a block on an Andre Iguodala dunk attempt during the first quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals between his Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
Iguodala got a pass from Draymond Green as he was cutting to the basket and went up for a big dunk. He was met by Capela, who stood in front of the rim and stuffed him like a volleyball player at the net:
Capela was fired up after his block, as were the fans in Houston.
Capela was a monster in the first quarter and had six points, six rebounds and a steal in addition to the big block.
Andre Iguodala may be 35 years old, but his head coach thinks that he still has some solid burn left in him.
Addressing reporters on Saturday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that Iguodala can play beyond his current contract, but acknowledged that the veteran forward may not want to, per Connor Letorneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Iguodala is owed $17.2 million for next season, but his deal expires in 2020, when he would be nearing 37. With an All-Star selection, two All-Defensive Teams, a Finals MVP Award, and the possibility of winning his fourth NBA title this June, the incentive is there for Iggy to think about calling it quits.
That said though, Iguodala can still ball, as his defense and playmaking off the bench give juice to the Warriors’ best units, particularly their acclaimed Death Lineup. The former No. 9 overall pick has had some recent health concerns, but it sounds like the Dubs will leave the light on for him if he wants to play another couple of years.
The Houston Rockets have shown this season that they are not intimidated of the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, and Chris Paul let that be known after leading his team to another win over its Western Conference rival on Saturday.
Houston staved off a late comeback attempt from the Warriors to win 118-112. It was the third time the Rockets have emerged victorious in three meetings between the teams this season, and Paul wasn’t exactly quiet about it. He took a shot at Andre Iguodala after the game.
“What did [Andre Iguodala] say about the series last year? If he would have played, they would have swept us? Then he must be the X-factor,” Paul told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “That’s the punchline you needed, right?”
The Rockets had a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last year, but they ended up losing the series after Paul was unable to suit up in Game 6 and Game 7 because of a hamstring injury. Houston players couldn’t help but feel like they would have made it to the NBA Finals if Paul didn’t get hurt, though Steve Kerr and others on the Golden State side had a much different opinion, as Iguodala also missed several games in the series with an injury.
Regular season games mean very little in the grand scheme of things, but the Rockets should have plenty of confidence if they face Golden State again in the postseason. As long as CP3 can remain healthy, they’ll have as good a shot as any team of knocking off the NBA’s best.
Perhaps the most alarming part about the newly discovered feud between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green is the lack of denial from the Golden State Warriors that it exists. It would be very simple for Durant or any of his teammates to say Monday’s heated exchange is water under the bridge, but that has yet to happen.
Ethan Strauss of The Athletic asked Andre Iguodala, a 34-year-old who has become a veteran leader in Golden State, for his thoughts on the relationship between Durant and Green and whether or not the Warriors can continue to win under these circumstances. His response was quite telling.
That may be Iguodala’s way of stating the obvious, but it sounds like a confirmation that the issues between Durant and Green are very real. Durant was obviously upset over the way Green handled the final seconds of regulation on Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The Warriors suspended Green for a game for the way he went after Durant, and that may be their way of choosing sides with K.D. set to become a free agent this summer. At the very least, the rift is going to take a lot of work to smooth over. The way Durant spoke about it earlier this week made that clear.
It’s far too early for any NBA fans to be panicking — we’re only three weeks into the season! But that doesn’t mean we should discount the start of the season entirely.
Some teams that were expected to contend for a top seed have fallen short of expectations (looking at you, Sixers, Jazz, Lakers, and Celtics). On an individual level, some players have also gotten off to a sluggish start. Here are 10 players who have struggled early in the season.
10. Marc Gasol, Grizzlies
Gasol will soon turn 34, so we had to know his decline was coming soon. Unfortunately, it looks like the 7-foot-1 Spaniard only has a couple years left in the league. He’s still getting plenty of burn (32.4 minutes per game) and his rebounding numbers (8.9 per game) are respectable, but his offensive productivity and efficiency have dropped. His scoring average has been on a gradual decline since 2016, and it’s now down to 14.4 per game. He’s shooting only 42 percent from the field, the lowest number of his career. The Grizzlies are off to a somewhat surprising 6-4 start, and they could hang around the West’s eight-seed line – but they’ll need more output on offense from the skilled big man.
The Golden State Warriors hear all that talk about how they’re ruining basketball, but they obviously don’t see it that way.
Andre Iguodala doesn’t see it that way. He knows that this won’t last forever, and all his team is doing is exploiting their window for all it’s worth.
“In every sector of business, it’s really hard to build something where you can get on a good run,” Iguodala told Ben Golliver of The Crossover. “In sports, it’s even harder because you only have a small window for an athletic career. It would be hard to match what Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs at Apple or Microsoft or any of these companies have been doing well for a really long time. And even in those industries, eventually there’s disruption. Look at taxi cabs: that was a huge business until Uber came in.
“For us, we understand that we have a tight window to build a certain type of culture that will attract athletes like DeMarcus Cousins. To where he will say [that joining the Warriors] is his ‘perfect chess move.'”
In other words, Iguodala sees the Warriors as stylistically ideal, and that’s why they can attract the talent they do.
“What we’re doing is playing basketball the right way,” Iguodala added. “We’re attracting a lot of people because they like the way we do things organically. We respect the game.”
As another star put it, competitive balance is not Golden State’s problem. They’ve built an attractive proposition that is bringing in stars and doing everything they can to win as much as they can while they have the opportunity.
Golden State Warriors rookie Jordan Bell had the time of his life during the team’s championship parade on Tuesday, but a veteran teammate thinks he had a bit too much fun.
Andre Iguodala chided Bell for his drunken antics during the parade, saying he had a private word with the rookie.
“I told him to stop doing that stupid stuff, but he’s a rookie,” Iguodala told KNBR 680, via Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He enjoyed himself. It was his first time.”
Iguodala couldn’t resist getting a shot in at Oregon, a Pac-12 rival to his Arizona Wildcats.
“And obviously at Oregon, they don’t teach guys certain things. The Oregon guys aren’t used to being professional basketball players,” Iguodala said. “Arizona, we just have a plethora of alumni who played professional basketball. We know how to enjoy success. You gotta give Jordan a pass.”
One wonders how much of the alcohol budget ended up being spent on Bell. Might as well live it up, kid.
Andre Iguodala managed to return for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday, but he apparently did not emerge from it entirely unscathed.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic relayed that the Golden State Warriors forward had a “heavy” limp following the 110-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Iguodala, 34, had missed the previous six games of the playoffs with a knee injury that he suffered in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. He finished with eight points and one assist in 22 minutes of play on Wednesday but had to leave briefly for the locker room in the second quarter (though he did later return to the game).
The Warriors are now up 3-0 on the Cavs, so Iguodala’s health may not swing the ultimate result of the series by very much. Regardless though, it will still be something to keep an eye on ahead of Game 4 on Friday in Cleveland.