The Golden State Warriors are so talented they have two legit All-Stars who can’t crack the starting five in David Lee and Andre Igoudala. Lee was an All-Star twice, as recently as 2013 while wearing a Warriors uniform.(That year he was All-NBA Third Team, so presumably one of the 15 best players in the league.) Iguodala played in the All-Star game in 2012 as a 76er, but more importantly he was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2014, just last year, as a Warrior.
Harrison Barnes won Iguodala’s starting spot in coach Steve Kerr’s revamped Warriors rotation– and the change has worked out supremely well. But the NBA Finals tend to reward the best defensive efforts, as teams adjust strategy between games and coaches play chess with their matchups. Obviously the King of the Cleveland chess board that Kerr wants to capture is King James — aka LeBron — who pretty much single-handedly lifted the Cavs past Atlanta into the Finals. The Hawks had no answer for James. Golden State’s best answer for James is probably triple teams and Iguodala, who may get to spell Barnes more than usual. The Warriors’ Draymond Green was NBA All-Defensive First Team this year and Green can makes James work — but the power forward will be needed inside and James increasingly works the perimeter for the Cavs. Iguodala may be the sneaky key to the series. There is always an unexpected element that tips the scales in the NBA Finals. Just ask Patty Mills.