While guesting on the December 2 episode of The Draymond Green Show, Golden State Warriors vet Andre Iguodala made it clear that he’s buying his team’s hot start as legit. From Game 1 with his old running mates, things have been eerily reminiscent of the Warriors’ glory days.
“The first thing I noticed was the atmosphere,” Iguodala said of his Warriors reunion tour. “We’re getting back to the old ways of, everywhere we go, the atmosphere is going to be just like that, which is incredible. Now you get to see, every team is going to play their best. As you know, when we get everybody’s best, we will be the best-prepared team come playoffs. Because we have that experience.”
Not everything has felt like a retread, however. Iggy has taken note of his new teammates rising to the occasion as well, including a certain former No. 3 overall pick.
“You also get to see what type of guys step up to the challenge; you get to see their energy when it’s a big game,” Iguodala said. “I saw Otto Porter, boy, he looked like he was ready!”
Porter’s Vintage Performance
Iguodala was referencing Porter’s performance during the Warriors’ November 30 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The ninth-year pro logged a season-high 30 minutes in the game and ended up scoring 16 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists while draining four triples.
“He got into the game, first shot, bang. He missed a shot, and he was like, ‘I can’t wait till the next shot come, I ain’t missing.’” Iguodala said. “He just kept hitting timely shots that kept the game within a possession or two the whole night.”
Porter’s big night in the Valley of the Sun came on the heels of an 18 and 10 effort against the LA Clippers. And over the four games preceding Golden State’s Friday rematch with Phoenix, he averaged 12.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest while shooting 53.3% from the floor and 47.8% from three-point range.
Simply put, he has looked like the Otto Porter of old, and Iggy is here for it.
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Part of the Warriors’ Winning Formula
Before foot and back injuries felled him, Porter had developed into one of the best two-way players in the Association. During the 2017-18 campaign with the Washington Wizards, he was a 15-point scorer and a 44.1% three-point shooter, while boasting a steal percentage of 2.3.
At the time, he appeared to be headed for even bigger things.
Porter didn’t come close to resembling that guy over the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic, though. And he’ll likely never be that player again — there’s a reason why pundits weren’t shocked to see him sign a minimum deal with the Warriors (even if he did pass up better offers to join the team).
What he can still be, though, is an important part of the Warriors’ winning formula, much like Iguodala was during his first run in the Bay Area. And given his willingness to leave millions of dollars on the table, that’s probably good enough for him.