Warriors Coach Says Veteran Will Be Playing Bigger Role in Playoffs

Andre Iguodala Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala reacts after a 2015 loss to the Houston Rockets.

The return to the playoffs for the first time in two years will have a very familiar look for Golden State Warriors fans.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed that veteran Andre Iguodala, who was a fixture of the team’s five-year run to the NBA Finals, will be taking on a bigger role than he had seen during the regular season. Iguodala is back after missing a long stretch due to injury, and Kerr said he’s ready to see more minutes and play in critical situations as the playoffs begin.

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Kerr Reveals Plans for Iguodala

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported, Kerr said he’s ready to push Iguodala beyond his season average and keep him on the court during critical stretches, though added that he will be careful with his total minutes.

“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 comes into the playoffs with light miles, having missed a number of games with injuries and Kerr’s decision to limit his minutes. The veteran appeared in a total of 31 games this season, playing a career-low 19.5 minutes per game.

He hasn’t seen much action in recent months, missing a long stretch from January to late March, but has plenty of experience in the playoffs. He has played in a total of 170 postseason games, the most of any player on the Warriors this season.

Iguodala could have the chance to play more minutes, especially to start the playoffs. Teammate Steph Curry is returning from a foot injury that kept him out the final month of the season, and could be on limited minutes to start the playoffs.


Warriors Looking to Iguodala

As the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick noted, the 38-year-old could be poised to take on an important role for the Warriors this postseason. Teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson noted that Iguodala’s on-court vision and soft hands have helped facilitate the offense for teammates.

“Andre is at the point in his career where he’s using his brain a lot more than anything else,” Toscano-Anderson said. “He just anticipates things differently than we all do. I watch him a hell of a lot. Sometimes, he’s on the floor and I’m only watching him.”

“His hands are golden, man,” Toscano-Anderson added.

Kroichick noted that the Warriors weren’t as concerned with Iguodala’s regular-season performance when they signed him last year, instead hoping his veteran leadership would be an asset for the team in the playoffs. That could be especially important for the team’s young players, including rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody and third-year guard Jordan Poole — all playing in their first playoffs.

Iguodala said while his regular season hadn’t gone the way he wanted — he posted career-low shooting numbers, both from the field and beyond the three-point arc — he was happy to see the other ways he was able to contribute to the team’s success.

“I haven’t been out there as much as I’d like, but sometimes even if things don’t work out to a T, you still know your presence is being felt and you’re getting the job done,” he said. “I feel like that.”

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