With all the injuries that have occurred in the entire playoffs so far, the absence of Andre Iguodala, for a game 7, may have more repercussions than any other injury. Iguodala injured his left leg in Game 3 when he collided with James Harden on a drive midway through the fourth quarter. It seems like James Harden can’t be stopped literally and metaphorically. This will go down as his Igoudala’s fourth straight missed game on Monday.
The Warriors swingman is one of the most productive, versatile role players in the league. In previous seasons when he was apart of the Sixers and Nuggets, Iguodala was able to accumulate awards such as first team all-rookie, first and second team defensive team, and finals MVP in 14-15’. His selflessness and team first mentally have allowed the stars to glue with role players.
Andre truly embodies the common saying, “jack of all trades, master of none.” What makes him extremely impactful is that his value can be invested in all aspects of basketball. Its not comparable to losing a top scorer who all they can do is score the basketball. At a long 6’6”, Iguodala can play point and get the Warriors in their sets, rebound, defend, communicate, and provide veteran leadership. Athletic, strong ball handlers like himself make defenses collapse on the ball, which in turn leaves Curry and Thompson with wide open threes. Iguoldala’s athleticism is a large reason why the Warriors can push the pace, attack, and do what they do best: shoot. Immediately, when Iguodala grabs the ball off the rim on a defensive rebound, the Warriors can transition quickly into attack mode. Everyone sprints and spreads out behind the three point line and then the open shooter is found.
To still give themselves a shot at pulling out game 7 in oracle, the Warriors must game plan on the fly. Offensively, the loss of igoudala will make the game less team orientated and a slower pace. Durant, Curry, and Thompson wont have the luxury of finding a desired spot on the court and have the ball delivered to them. Just by the pure numbers, everyone will have the ball in their hands more but especially curry. This means Curry will have to protect the rock and not tire out easily. Defensively, things will get very dicey. Iguodala matched up better than anyone did on James Harden. One thing the Rockets do very well is isolate James Harden on the weakest defender by pick n roll switching. Whenever Curry finds himself on Harden, it can be looked at an automatic score or a wide open shot for a shooter. The defensive side is where Iguodala will be missed most.