Warriors Veteran Out Indefinitely With Injury: Report

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr shouts to his team against the Denver Nuggets in the second half during Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on April 16, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors will finish out their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets without one of the members of all three of their NBA Championship teams.

Dubs veteran forward Andre Iguodala has been ruled out of Game 5 Wednesday night, April 27, at Chase Center in San Francisco. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported the news of Iguodala’s health status via Twitter Wednesday morning.

“Andre Iguodala is out for Game 5 tonight,” Slater wrote. “Listed as a left cervical disc injury. Neck problem.”

Slater added that Iguodala will be re-evaluated next week and that his status moving forward is uncertain should the Warriors earn a trip to the second round to play either the Memphis Grizzlies or the Minnesota Timberwolves. Golden State can close out the Nuggets with a victory Wednesday night.

“Andre Iguodala will be re-evaluated for his neck injury next Wednesday, per Warriors,” Slater tweeted. “So he will miss the end of this Nuggets series and, if they advance, at least the beginning portion of the second round.”

The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!

Iguodala’s Injury Spoils Dubs’ Playoff Plans For Former NBA Finals MVP

Andre Iguodala Steve Kerr

GettyAndre Iguodala (left) of the Golden State Warriors confers with head coach Steve Kerr (right) while playing the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 15, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The loss of Iguodala will be less impactful on the floor during this year’s playoff push, however long it lasts for the Warriors, than it would have been during the team’s five-year run to five straight NBA Finals appearances and three titles between 2015-19. Iguodala was a fixture on all of those rosters.

This time around, the 38-year-old forward has played a role more centered around mentorship and sideline leadership. He has appeared in three of the Warriors’ four playoff contests against the Nuggets this postseason, missing Game 2, and has averaged just 14 minutes on the court and 1.3 points per game, according to ESPN.

But a limited involvement in the playoffs is not what head coach Steve Kerr had in mind for Iguodala as the postseason approached. In fact, Kerr’s plans were the exact opposite, per a report from Slater on April 16.

“Andre Iguodala only played 16, 16, 15, 21 and 17 minutes in his five games back,” Slater tweeted. “Steve Kerr said he’s willing to push Iguodala into the mid-20s, if game demands in crunch time, but must be selective because of Iguodala’s career mileage: ‘We can push him a bit more.'”

Iguodala played in just 31 of 82 regular season games for the Warriors in 2021-22, averaging a career-low 19.5 minutes per outing, according to Basketball Reference.

Warriors’ General Health in Playoffs Setting Team Up For Deep Run

Stephen Curry Draymond Green Warriors-Nuggets

GettyGolden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) and guard Steph Curry (right) celebrate during Game 3 of their 2022 first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets.

While Iguodala’s neck injury may sideline him for the foreseeable future, the general health of the Warriors’ roster is in a better place than it has been in nearly three years.

Steph Curry returned for Game 1 against Denver after a sprained ligament in his foot had kept him out since mid-March. He has played a bench role in the playoffs to this point, though the team has now lifted Curry’s minutes restriction and he could start as early as Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Klay Thompson, who missed two and a half years due to various ailments, began rounding into something like his pre-injury form, at least on offense, over the Dubs’ last few regular season games. He scored 30-plus points in each of his final three starts and has carried a similar edge into the playoffs.

Draymond Green missed 30 games this year due to a back injury, but has bottled up reigning MVP Nikola Jokic for much of this series, reminding the rest of the NBA that he remains one of the league’s premier defenders even well into his 30s.

Up 3-1 on Denver, Golden State needs just one more victory to advance to the second round. The Grizzlies are up on the Timberwolves 3-2, though they have not looked as dominant in postseason play as they did on their way to winning the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors have a massive experience advantage over the Grizzlies, though the young Memphis team will have the home court advantage should the franchises square off next round.

Meanwhile, Phoenix Suns, the No. 1 seed in the West, are struggling to put away the pesky New Orleans Pelicans, leading the series 3-2 as they head back to Louisiana for Game 6. Suns All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker suffered a pulled hamstring earlier in the series and could miss multiple weeks moving forward, putting his status in question should the Suns and the Warriors meet in the Western Conference Finals.

If Golden State’s roster remains relatively healthy, aside from Iguodala’s neck issues, the Warriors appear poised to potentially return to the NBA Finals for the first time in three years.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x