Down by one with 2.3 seconds remaining against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson had plenty of options to choose from to attempt a game-winning shot at the buzzer.
He had Stephen Curry, arguably the best shooter in the league. He had Klay Thompson, who had already made six 3-pointers in the game and had a team-high 27 points.
But he also had Andre Iguodala, the guy who they had invested a lot of time and money in to make the clutch plays. So the plan was to go to Iguodala, and he delivered with a buzzer-beating bucket from the right corner after receiving the inbounds pass from Thompson.
“The play was actually for Andre,” said Jackson, via the San Jose Mercury News. “They over-played him and the guy has a big-time basketball IQ.”
So why not go to either Curry or Thompson, who Jackson dubbed the “best shooting back court in history”? The Warriors have now gone to Iguodala twice in late-game situations; he missed what would have been a game-tying field goal against the Spurs last week as time expired.
Jackson said he wanted to use Curry and Thompson as decoys to draw the other team’s best defenders to them, opening up an opportunity for Iguodala. But ironically, it was Thabo Sefolosha, the Thunder’s best defender, defending Iguodala as the Warriors’ forward nailed the jumper in his face.
It just goes to show that if the Warriors want to become a member of the “elite” in the NBA, they will have to find ways to win games such as this one. Despite losing a big lead and having no momentum in their favor, a key player made the big shot at a big-time, and that’s all that matters.