Andre Iguodala

LGW: Golden State Warriors Injury List: Add Andrew Bogut Pelvic Contusion After David Lee Hamstring, Hilton Armstrong Returns

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

The Golden State Warriors entered their five-day break between games a little banged up. After Friday night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, in which Marc Gasol knee’d Andrew Bogut in the groin, they’re even more banged up.

David Lee suffered a hamstring strain in last Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Curry has been nursing a right quad injury, although he told last Tuesday that it was all but gone, Andre Iguodala has been dealing with a right “jumper’s knee” or knee tendinitis, prior to the pelvic contusion Bogut had a tweaked ankle, and Festus Ezeli is still rehabbing from right knee surgery.

This time off helped heal some of the wounds that many Warriors’ players were dealing with, and it also allowed us to get an update on each nagging injury.

Let’s start off with Lee. LetsGoWarriors at practice yesterday and the Warriors informed us of the following:

At Tuesday’s practice, Lee discussed his injury status and the benefits of this break.

“Everybody got to get away from the game for a couple days and get rested up,” Lee said. “As you know, I’m battling a little hamstring thing, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Friday, making progress everyday. But without that, I’d be having to miss games right now.

“Once again, just like the All-Star break, this break has come at a perfect time for our team. We’ve been playing really good basketball and just trying to come out of this and be sharp for Friday. I’m sure Coach will have us doing some stronger practices as we get closer to get our wind back.”

At Wednesday’s practice, Curry discussed his quad injury with us.

“It’s pretty much gone at this point,” Curry said. “The rest from this week helped to get that last little bit of soreness. I still got to do a little bit here and there to get ready for games, but at this point in the season everyone’s got nicks and bruises and bangs.

“It’s not really on my mind much when I’m playing anymore, which is definitely an improvement from weeks past.”

Iguodala discussed the five days off and provided an update on his knee tendinitis at Tuesday’s practice.

“Well I think it’d be helpful for anybody,” Iguodala said about the break. “It’s not common you get a stretch like this where you go and you get four or five days off right in the middle of the schedule. It’s really just important to just to be cautious but also be effective with trying to get back as soon as possible.”

When asked if he would play on Friday against the Grizzlies, he said, “Yeah, that’s the plan. I got a really good workout yesterday with Coach Myers and then got some good reps up today, really just taking care of minor things in the weight room for the last five days, small tedious muscles that you forget about and get those back working and take some stress off the area.”

Read updates on Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli’s injuries and the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

LGW: Golden State Warriors Passing: Best in the NBA?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Are the Golden State Warriors the best passing team in the NBA?

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle recently asked Mark Jackson, Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O’Neal, and Steve Blake that question, and they all had similar answers.

Coach Mark Jackson, past master of the assist, answered my true-false question with, “I would probably say, off the top of my head, true, because we have playmakers and good to very good to excellent passers.
Bogut answered “true,” with a caveat: “I think we are (the best passing team), but our hindrance is turnovers. … The asterisk you would put next to that is we’ve got to limit our turnovers to be the best passing team in the league.”
Steve Blake answered the T-F question, “Quite possibly. … That’s a big part of what we do. We’ve got certain guys we need to be aggressive at times and just go one-on-one. But at the right moments, guys are making really good passes.”
So enjoy it while you’ve got it, Warriors fans, because as O’Neal said, “It’s rare in professional sports that you get a team that likes each other and is very unselfish. Basketball can really become a very individualized sport within a team system. You see that a lot on some teams, but for us it’s about making the extra play, making the extra pass.”

Ostler brings up an excellent point in the article that O’Neal touched upon also. The Warriors’ excellent passing could be partially attributed to their elite team chemistry.

They all want to win badly, and that brings them closer to together. That underdog mentality and that never-say-die attitude breeds excellent team chemistry, which can take a team far.

So what makes the Warriors such a good passing team?

Well, first of all, all five of their starters are arguably elite passers, for their position.

Stephen Curry is a creative, crafty passer who can pass well with either hand, Klay Thompson is a great passer out of pick-and-rolls, Andre Iguodala is also a creative passer who creates plays and can drive-and-kick, David Lee has great anticipation of what his teammate is going to do and when and how he should pass the ball to them, and Bogut, for a center, also has great timing and anticipation as a passer.

Read more about the Warriors’ passing and check out some advanced passing stats in the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

Golden State Warriors: Looking Ahead To The Final 6 Weeks

Mar 5, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) and point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrate during the second half of a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors have a lot to prove in the final six weeks of the season. During this final stretch, they will have to fight for a playoff seed, they will have to fight through fatigue, and they will have to find some consistency and momentum going into the playoffs.

This season, as usual, the Western Conference is the more competitive conference, so it will be even tougher than usual for the Warriors to make the playoffs and gain a top-four seed.

There are four teams who will most likely be battling for the last three spots in the Western Conference standings: the Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, and Memphis Grizzlies.

All four of these teams are currently within three games of each other, so the fight for a playoff spot will most likely come down to the last day of the season.

The Warriors have 13 of their last 20 games at home, which they need to take advantage of, given the tight playoff race.

There are some key matchups coming up in the final six weeks of the season for the Warriors. Next week, the Warriors face three quality teams who are all playoff contenders. They face the Suns at home on March 9th, the Mavericks at home on March 11th, and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 12th.

The Warriors need to think of those first two games as must-wins, because of the proximity to both of those teams in the standings. The Warriors have had luck against the Clippers this season too, so if they can win all three of those games, that would certainly help their playoff chances.

The Warriors also have a tough back-to-back at the beginning of April. They face the Mavericks in Dallas on April 1st and the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio on April 2nd. Again, the Warriors need to beat Dallas, because they’ll be fighting for seeding.

Jan 28, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) celebrates with center Andrew Bogut (12) against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Warriors beat the Raptors 114-102. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs beat the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals last season, so the Warriors would like to make a statement to the Spurs in that game by beating them on the second game of a back-to-back on the road.

In the final six weeks, the Warriors also face the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently the fifth seed (one seed ahead of the Warriors), in Portland twice. Those games are big matchups as well.

The Warriors have a favorable schedule for the final stretch of the season, given the amount of home games they have, but they need to improve in several areas in order to make a strong push into the playoffs.

First of all, the Warriors offense needs to improve. The Warriors’ defense has been stellar, if not elite, all season. However, despite having many offensive weapons, their offense can become quite stagnant at times.

The Warriors can become complacent on offense and settle for isolation post-ups, which can be effective at times but also eliminates any beneficial ball movement, which is one of their strengths.

Their ball movement is what fuels their up-tempo offense. When they push the fast break, get in transition, and get shots before the opposing team’s defense can set up, the Warriors offense flows much better. Once they get into that rhythm, it’s hard to stop them.

When they settle for isolation post-ups, it slows down the game. The Warriors need to play at a fast pace and force the other team to play at their speed in order to be effective.

Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, and the Warriors’ frontcourt of David Lee and Andrew Bogut are all great passers, so the Warriors need to take advantage of this more.

On offense, the Warriors also need to limit their turnovers, because this messes with their rhythm too.

The Warriors can also find more ways to integrate Iguodala and Bogut into the offense. Iguodala has said that his hamstring still bothers him on offense, but he needs to find ways to be more aggressive and contribute offensively.

Bogut can also contribute more than just on tip-ins and putback dunks. This would take some scoring pressure off of Curry, Lee, and Klay Thompson.

Feb 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Steve Blake (25) celebrates after a play against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Second, the Warriors need consistent production from the bench. The reserves were a significant reason why the Warriors were able to pull out a win against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. They allowed the starters to rest more than usual, and they out-scored the Pacers’ bench 34-11.

Harrison Barnes is starting to find his groove as a reserve, Jermaine O’Neal has been a beast on the boards and on blocks and he’s a valuable, veteran presence in the locker room, Jordan Crawford is finding ways to score and contribute, Draymond Green is doing a little bit of everything, and Steve Blake has been the perfect fit for this bench unit.

The Warriors have a lot of great pieces on the bench, so it’s just a matter of finding the right mix of players to play at the right time. Blake will certainly help in this area, because he is the type of player that makes the players around him better.

Third, another reason why the Warriors need consistent production from the bench is to preserve their health. The Warriors have had a bad history with injuries, and they need to make sure they monitor Curry and Bogut’s minutes.

Lastly, given all these areas, the Warriors need to find some consistency, in all these areas. Consistency is what breeds elite, championship contending teams, just look at a team like the Spurs. They’re the model for consistency and quality.

The Warriors’ defense has been pretty consistent, so they need to maintain that. They need to find a consistent rhythm on offense though.

If their bench can contribute offensively on a regular basis, this would give the Warriors an edge in many of their games. If the bench plays well, the starters get more rest, which will only benefit them when the playoffs start.

Consistency is key for the Warriors. If they can establish some consistency, they will ride some momentum into the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors: What Constitutes A Good Second Half

Dec 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates with point guard Stephen Curry (30) after drawing a charge for an offensive foul against Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors’ first half of the 2013-2014 season can be described as…underwhelming. At first glance, the Warriors haven’t had a disappointing season at all. They currently have a 32-22 record.

However, given the immense amount of talent on this team, the Warriors could certainly improve and have a better record, especially given the fact that they boast one of the best starting lineups in the NBA.

Many NBA fans and analysts had high expectations for the Warriors this season, and some even believed that they were championship contenders. That might’ve been a little premature, but the Warriors, despite some underachieving, still have a great chance at making the playoffs and possibly moving up into the top four or five in the Western Conference.

If they want to secure home-court advantage in the playoffs, although it might be difficult, the Warriors need to improve in several areas in the second half of the season.

First of all, they need to play better at home. The Warriors’ record at home doesn’t look too bad. They currently have a 16-10 record at Oracle Arena. However, the Warriors boast one of the best, if not the best, home court advantage and the best fans in the NBA.

Warriors fans are known for being raucous, loud, energetic, and extremely passionate. The Warriors sometimes appear complacent when playing at home, as they assume that they will get easy wins because of their quality crowd.

The Warriors can’t make these types of assumptions, and they need to compete hard every night. Of course, this is easier said than done. The Warriors need to play with more effort at home in the second half.

Feb 19, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) speaks to point guard Stephen Curry (30) during a stoppage in play in the third quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 101-.92. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 19, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) speaks to point guard Stephen Curry (30) during a stoppage in play in the third quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 101-.92. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of making assumptions, the Warriors have also had a bad habit of playing down to their competition. Often when they play a team with a lesser record than theirs, they don’t play as dominantly as they could. On several occasions, they lose these games because they didn’t take their competition seriously.

On the flip side, they play up to their competition as well. In theory, this is a good characteristic, but it promotes an inconsistent playing style. The Warriors have been able to beat elite teams like the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Los Angeles Clippers, but they have lost to teams they should’ve beaten like the Charlotte Bobcats and the Washington Wizards.

As Jermaine O’Neal told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group, the Warriors need to fight for each game and show how badly they want to win.

“There’s 29 games left, and I’ve said all along that this team, we’re going to be a reflection of what the players put into it,” O’Neal said. “I know it’s been a lot conversation about Coach Jackson, and to me it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard, because at the end of the day, the players have to have a certain type of will.

“It’s all will. It boils down to if you want it bad enough, you’re willing to do whatever it is.”

If the Warriors want to have a strong second half of the season, this inconsistent play needs to stop. The elite teams have off nights, but they find ways to beat teams they should beat and play well every night. The Warriors need to prove that they can play on that level.

In order to have a successful second half, the Warriors also have to find a way to limit their turnovers, which they have struggled to do all season. Turnovers are to be expected in the NBA, but the Warriors need to limit the sloppy, careless, and avoidable turnovers that lead to easy buckets for their opponents.

Those are the types of turnovers that kill momentum, slow the game down, and decrease a team’s chances of winning. Those are the types of turnovers that the Warriors need to cut down on if they want to have a strong second half.

Lastly, one of the most important factors in order for the Warriors to have a successful second half is health. The only Warriors that have played in all 53 games so far this season are Draymond Green, Marreese Speights, and Klay Thompson.

When Stephen Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut all start, the Warriors have won 69.7 percent of those games. Those five players have only started together in 33 games this season though.

Despite all these games missed by the starters due to injuries, the Warriors are still in the playoff hunt. That’s the good news.

In terms of goals for the second half of the season, Mark Jackson has said that the Warriors want to build on the lessons they’ve learned in the first half of the season, hit their peak near the end of the season, and then ride that momentum as long as they can in the playoffs.

Curry shared that same sentiment with Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“We’re trying to secure our spot in the playoffs and make some noise,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “The goal is obviously to represent the Western Conference in the Finals, so that’s on the horizon for us – if we take care of business.

“I feel good about it. We’ve learned a lot. Obviously, we haven’t played to our potential so far when it comes to playing at home and winning games that we’re supposed to, but those are things that will toughen us up. We’re a hungry team that is going to come back on a mission.”

If the Warriors can bring more effort in their home games, play hard every night against any opponent, limit their careless turnovers, and stay healthy, the Warriors will have a strong second half and will ride that winning momentum into the playoffs.

LGW: Preview: San Antonio Spurs (20-5) at Golden State Warriors (14-12)

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

The Golden State Warriors will face the San Antonio Spurs in Oakland for the first time since their epic playoff series in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals. As usual, the Spurs are having a fantastic season and currently have the third best record in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Although the Warriors have been struggling recently, they started to play their true brand of basketball in Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. A big reason for this re-emergence into relevance is because of the return of Andre Iguodala.

Iguodala surprised many Warriors fans by returning to the court on Tuesday after missing 12 games with a strained hamstring. He only had two points and two assists in 17 minutes, but his presence completely changed how the Warriors’ played.

Iguodala provides the Warriors with another ball handler who can run the offense, which allows Stephen Curry to play off the ball. His defense also greatly impacts the Warriors’ defense as a team, and he pushes the Warriors to play at a faster tempo, which leads to better basketball.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.

LGW: Andre Iguodala: The Selfless Sidekick



Andre Iguodala might wear the number nine on the back of his Golden State Warriors jersey, but he’s used to being number two. Throughout his basketball career, Iguodala has always been “the sidekick” to a bigger, brighter star. When he attended Lanphier High School in Springfield, Illinois, Iguodala was “in the shadow” of Richard McBride. When he attended the University of Arizona, Iguodala deferred to Hassan Adams and Luke Walton. Lastly, when the Philadelphia 76ers selected Iguodala with the ninth pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he immediately became the sidekick to the 76ers’ face of the franchise at the time, Allen Iverson.

For many up-and-coming basketball players, being a sidekick wouldn’t necessarily be the dream job. However, for a player like Iguodala, the role suits him. He’s always been a selfless player who makes the people around him better. He does this by contributing to a team in many different ways. He can pass, he can rebound, he can score when needed, and he can defend. He doesn’t need to be the star of a team. That’s always been his style, and that’s not going to change, no matter who he plays for or with.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.