OAKLAND — Andre Iguodala missed the second half of Game 1 of the West Finals with a sore left knee, got an MRI the next day that came back clean, but still rested in Game 2 for precautionary reasons.
Iguodala then returned to close out the final two games of the series, not having a huge impact but showing a ray of hope toward the end of Game 4, springing up for a semi-explosive dunk and a few layups.
The sequence was encouraging for the Warriors to see because Iguodala’s importance is about to take a giant step up. After coasting through most of the playoffs while the Warriors steamrolled to a 12-0 record mostly without his contributions, Iguodala now becomes much more vital against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Iguodala has always been one of the league’s most capable defenders on LeBron, making life more difficult than usual for the megastar. He’ll guard him at key moments of this series, just like Iguodala did two years ago when he won Finals MVP.
Last year, Iguodala had some back trouble in The Finals that deteriorated his game a bit. It was an undertold aspect of Golden State’s decline in the last three games of the series. So his health will be a storyline to follow as this year’s series unfolds.
“I feel good,” Iguodala said after practice on Saturday. “Right now, you have to block out everything.”
Back in 2015, when he won that Finals MVP, along with great defense, Iguodala also averaged 16.3 points in the series, making 14 of his 35 threes. With the addition of Kevin Durant, his…
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