Warriors 103, Kings 94: Andre Iguodala provides positive influence amidst ugliness

Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates his 3-point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.  (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates his 3-point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

SACRAMENTO – Warriors forward Andre Iguodala had an Iguodala-like game against the Sacramento Kings. Amidst the ugliness on both sides, his plus-minus was +23.

Stephen Curry called that number “crazy” in a game like the Warriors’ 103-94 win where missed shots and turnovers spoiled any sort of flow Golden State might have had.

“He influenced it so positively,” Curry marveled.

Through all of their struggles, it was Iguodala who provided reminders of why the Warriors won 67 games last season. They can get themselves out of sticky situations by using their smarts.

He pushed the tempo in the first half. Seeing that the Warriors were struggling, he said he decided to become more aggressive on the second game of a back-to-back and “be another threat.”

“This team is special to allow me to pick and choose,” Iguodala said.

Curry’s exploits can mask at times what enables the Warriors to have sustained success throughout a season. The Warriors’ continuity comes together when things aren’t right.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Klay Thompson said. “For a lot of us, our third or fourth year together. We have very cerebral and smart players. We know what we’ve got to do when it comes to crunch time.”

And Iguodala is the savviest when it comes to making things come together. He had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals while committing only one turnover. He put in a professional effort even when the game around him got ugly.

“We’re more comfortable knowing it will work itself out,” Iguodala said. “If you play the game the right way, it’ll always work in our favor because we’re a hungry, smart group.”


Game 2 Rewind: Chris Paul, Clippers Outgun Stephen Curry, Warriors in Round 1 of the Heated Rivalry

Mark Ayotte, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, David Lee
You could see it in their eyes. You could hear in their voice, as they talked through clinched teeth and bit their tongue.

The Warriors don’t like the Clippers. And they were mad at themselves for not bringing their best against bullies from down south, losing 126-115 at Staples Center.

“We had no business in this game,” coach Mark Jackson said. “But we fought. We battled. We hung in there. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Warriors turned the ball over 25 times, something they knew was a no-no against the transition savvy Clippers. Their miscues, including a career-high 11 by Curry, helped the Clippers rack up 22 fast-break points.

The Warriors were beat down the glass, had a tough time staying attached to the Clippers’ shooters and had zero answer for Chris Paul. He torched the Warriors for 42 points, 15 assists and six steals in 37 minutes.

Yet, with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Golden State was down just eight. Victory was close enough to smell, and not grabbing it left a bitter taste.

“Certain teams kind of have that edge about them, for whatever reason,” Andre Iguodala said. “They’re kind of one of those teams. Even playing in Denver last year, it was the same chippiness. So we kind of have to be smart about it. Neither team has really done anything for it to really be a rivalry. Somebody has to establish something. So we’ve got to stay focused on the path ahead.”

More on Thursday’s game …

Continue Reading


Game 1 Rewind: Warriors Smash on Kobe Bryant-less Lakers

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 7.06.00 AMAfter all the preseason hype, all the talk of high expectations, many presumed the Warriors to come out and struggled. Especially after the Lakers thumped the much-ballyhooed Clippers on opening night, a let down wouldn’t have been surprising.

But that didn’t come close to happening Wednesday night.

The Warriors, instead, made an emphatic statement, beating the Lakers125-94 at Oracle on Wednesday.  Was the statement that Golden State is for real? Or was it that the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers are really bad?

Perhaps it’s too early to answer that definitively. But it certainly looked different.

These Warriors smelled blood and pounced. They went for the jugular of a vulnerable team — playing without Steve Nash on the second night of a back-to-back — like you’d expect from a legit contender.

Maybe it was the energy of the season opener. Or maybe they fed off the passion in the arena whenever the Lakers come to town. Or maybe this is just who they are.

“We understand we’re going to have to have a lot of energy at home,” Andre Iguodala said. “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve won a lot of home games. (Last year with Denver, we) had the best home record in the NBA. Still, you’ve got to take care of business on the road. Energy gets you wins at home, but its how you go on the road, compete against the top-tier teams.”

The Warriors will have a chance to do that tonight against the host Los Angeles Clippers.

Before then, here’s the season debut of the game rewind …

Continue Reading


David Lee, Stephen Curry Shine as Warriors Beat Los Angeles Lakers in China

No, I’m not in China. But I did watch the Warriors’ 100-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing on Tuesday. As far as the Warriors are concerned, it’s already fair to call the trip to China can be considered a success if only for reason: it got David Lee going.

For the first time this preseason, Lee looked like the All-Star he is. Part of it was the matador defense of Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol. But most of it was the liveliness of Lee. He was simply quicker and more explosive than his Lakers front-court counterparts, and he had various elements of his game was clicking.

That’s a vital step for the Warriors to round into form as the regular season news. They have hardly looked like the team expected to be a force in the Western Conference. But you could see some signs that’s starting to happen.

Lee had 31 points on 12 of 16 shooting in the first of two games against the Lakers in China. Lee made his first seven shots – four layups, two jumpers and a turn-around out of the post – en route to 22 first-half points.

Continue Reading


Harrison Barnes Gets First Crack as Mark Jackson Experiments with Starting Lineups

ONTARIO, Calif. — Mark Jackson said he’s not into playing mind games. If he knew who his starters were for the season, he would just say it. He doesn’t, he assured. He’s still trying to figure out which lineup gives his Warriors the best chance to win.

It is with that context he revealed guard Klay Thompson, who has started 122 consecutive games with Golden State (including playoffs), will come off the bench for tonight’s preseason opener.

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala will start in the backcourt, with Harrison Barnes, David Lee and center Andrew Bogut will start against the Los Angeles Lakers at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Is this insight into Jackson’s first choice, or is this his I’m-not-going-to-show-my-cards-early lineup? Is he anointing Barnes or motivating Thompson? Has Iguodala an automatic starter?

“Truthfully,” Jackson said, “there is zero to read into it.”

The Warriors, who have all five starters from last season, found themselves with a good problem to have by acquiring Iguodala — giving them six players capable of starting.

Curry, Lee and Bogut are etched in stone as long as they’re healthy, per Jackson. That leaves three wing players and two starting spots available. Jackson said he will use the preseason to experiment, figure out which five is the best fit. The odd man out will serve as the sixth man.

He said Thompson will get a chance to start this preseason. He also suggested you may see Iguodala come off the bench at some point in the exhibition.

“Don’t read anything into it,” Jackson reiterated. “It’s just the way we’re starting tonight. You could go either way. Klay and Iguodala (starting) or Klay and Barnes. … All those guys are going to play a lot. This is just the way I’m starting tonight.”

Here is a break down of each scenario:

Continue Reading


Draymond Green Keeping the Warriors on Their Toes

David Lee broke it down simply. Lee told second-year forward Draymond Green he wasn’t doing his job if Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights and even Lee himself wasn’t mad at him every few days.

Green’s response? Duh.

“That was already my plan anyway,” Green said, flashing his bright, devious smile. “So I didn’t need him to tell me.”

If Green has something to say about it, the Warriors won’t have a problem with complacency. Whatever success they have won’t soften them, nor will accolades cause them to

Because as soon as they get to practice, they will have to deal with Green. He’s loud. He’s tough. He’s versatile in his skill. Most important, he relishes the role of providing the checks and balances on the court.

“I don’t care who you are or what you do, I’m going to go at you,” he said after Friday’s practice. “I may not be the one guarding you but I’m going to say something. You can always do more. I feel like the sky is the limit for this team so there is always more that can be done. You may have had 30 yesterday. But you come into practice today and I’m getting after you. If it’s D-Lee or whoever it is, I’mma get at you.”

Continue Reading