Andre Iguodala will miss his fifth straight game on Thursday, during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The Warriors lost the defensive-minded small forward during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. In those four games without him, Golden State went 2-2 but ultimately won the series.
Still battling a bone bruise, his return date is unclear, as this is a tough injury to read. He will be evaluated again before Game 2 on Sunday.
Iguodala is a scoring threat, but he is more often relied on for his brand of defense. Over the three previous NBA Finals meetings with the Cavaliers, he has often been tasked with guarding LeBron James.
Without that defensive presence, it is likely that LeBron will get whatever he wants against Golden State. Considering James’ incredible postseason, that is extremely daunting for the Warriors.
It is likely that Kevin Durant will be responsible for guarding James in Iggy’s absence. Durant has stepped up his defensive game during the 2017-2018 season. Although his goal of making the first or second all-defensive team did not come to fruition.
In his 13 postseason appearances in 2018, Iguodala has put up 7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Defensively, he has 1.4 steals per game and has racked up 5 total blocks at the small forward position.
Again, the Warriors went 2-2 in their four games without him so far, but have managed to win when it counts. His on-court presence will obviously be missed, but what it will mean in this series is yet to be seen.
If Andre Iguodala cannot return to the court for this series, the odds will swing slightly Cleveland’s way, but this would probably not be enough to help Cleveland win these NBA Finals.
NBA fans will have to wait and see how the Warriors feel about his injury before Game 2.
Check out Eli and Ben’s Podcast “Courtside Ramblings” on SoundCloud or iTunes — TGH Podcast Feed
“From Our Haus to Yours“