Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has stepped up during the nine-game winning streak. He is also making a case for Sixth Man of the Year.
Whenever the Golden State Warriors need someone to step their play at critical stretches during the season, Andre Iguodala delivers. Whether it is in the 2015 NBA Finals, stepping up his scoring and playing lockdown defense on one of the greatest players the game has ever seen, Iguodala shows up.
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This season is no different. With superstar Kevin Durant sidelined with an MCL knee sprain and the Warriors not finding a rhythm in their first few games without Durant, they needed someone to step their game. Who better to step up their game at the crucial point in the season without Durant and the Warriors jostling for the #1 seed than the 2015 Finals MVP? Nobody.
After tonight’s win against the Spurs, in which Iguodala had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, this was his third straight game with double-digit scoring. It is not just his scoring and offense that is making the Warriors a more dangerous team without Durant, but just watching him play, he looks like he has his young legs back.
More often than not, Iguodala has been rising up to finish powerful dunks and catching lobs at a rate that would make the young Iguodala who played for Philadelphia smile. His body looks fresher, which could be a reason that he is finishing at the rim more effectively. The fresher body of Iguodala could be huge as the playoffs come around as the play gets more physical.
The play of Iguodala as of late has given the Warriors another possible scorer off the bench with the offensive production he is putting up. It gives the Dubs an additional offensive threat when Durant returns to the lineup and Steve Kerr goes to the “Super Death Lineup.”
With his stellar play recently, Iguodala has shown people he still has some left in the tank at age 33. It has also shown to me that he is the most important player outside of the Warriors’ core four of all stars. Now, don’t get me wrong, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, David West and Shaun Livingston are all important players for the Warriors’ championship aspirations, but what Iguodala does as a defender and leadership of the second unit cannot be overlooked.
He settles the team down if they are not playing well. Additionally, he can put up good scoring numbers if the team needs it. Iguodala is the “jack-of-all” trades and he will do whatever the team needs whether it is scoring, rebounding, passing and just a calming influence on the team.
If Iguodala keeps playing the way he is and continues it throughout the playoffs, the Warriors will be putting up another championship banner at Oracle Arena.