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NBA FEATS, FACTS AND FIGURES 4: IGUODALA IS EXPECTED TO RETURN IN GAME 3


PhilBoxing.com



Andre Iguodala.

The Cavaliers are in for another headache in the Finals when they play Game 3 in their home turf, as Andre Iguodala is expected to suit up. Golden State’s 34-year-old swingman missed their last six games of the playoffs with a lateral contusion on his left leg.


* * *

But ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported that Iguodala did a full personal workout and sprinted for the first time since suffering his injury two weeks ago. If Iguodala returns, it would be an added burden for Cleveland, now down 0-2. For Golden State, Iguodala’s comeback would be a plus factor for the trip to the NBA title.

* * *

Iguodala is very significant to the Warriors, which is already filled with All-Stars, because he is the 2015 Finals MVP and his return would complete the so-called Hamptons Five which refers to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Iggy.

* * *

Coach Steve Kerr said over ESPN he was hopeful Iguodala could play, but if he couldn't join his team in Game 3, they would get him ready for Game 4. "I'm optimistic Andre will play at some point in the series," Kerr said. "He has gotten better gradually, but there's no way of knowing for sure at this point."

* * *

Iguodala is the best LeBron James defender, a great assist passer, and the playmaker who could ably replace Curry when he is out.

* * *

“He came into the huddle the other night in Game 1,” Kerr was quoted on Sunday referring to Iggy, “with a great suggestion that we went with, and it worked. Andre knows the game as well as anybody.”

* * *

Kerr had started Iguodala in 12 of the Warriors’ 13 playoff games until his injury. Since then, Kerr had relied on Kevon Looney, and in Game 2 started JaVale McGee to defend the Cleveland frontcourt that outrebounded the Warriors in Game 1. Iguodala could relieve Kevin Durant from guarding LeBron and KD could spend his efforts more on scoring.

* * *

This playoffs, the Cavs are shooting 31 percent from 3-point area on the road, while shooting 37 percent in their Quicken Loans homecourt. Iguodala’s perimeter defense could contribute to lessen the Cavs' accuracy.

* * *

Steph Curry is now the leading candidate for Finals MVP after a 33-point, 8-assist, 7-rebound explosion, and a new NBA Finals record of 9 three-pointers in Game 2. Last year's Finals MVP Kevin Durant added 26 points, 9 boards and 7 assists in the 122-103 thumping of the Cavs.

* * *

LeBron James was just a shadow of his NBA Finals career-high 51 points, but still delivered a near triple-double game of 26 points, 13 assists and 9 boards. Kevin Love also chipped in a 22-10 point-rebound stats in the losing effort.

* * *

Iguodala was a member of the United States national basketball team to the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal both times. He was a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2014 and NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011.

* * *

The Warriors have entered ten NBA Finals, winning five NBA championships in 1947, 1956, 1975, 2015and 2017. Golden State's five NBA titles are tied for fourth-most in NBA history with the San Antonio Spurs, and were bested only by the Boston Celtics (17), Los Angeles Lakers (16) and Chicago Bulls (6).


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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