Last season when you took four of Golden State’s core starters — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut — and just switched out Andre Iguodala with Harrison Barnes, things got ugly fast. The offense slipped more than 15 points per 100 possessions, but the defense started to surrender more than five more points per 100.
Still, new coach Steve Kerr thinks it can be different. He’s got a lot more motion in his offense — what we saw from them in the preseason is far better than what we saw last season in terms of design — and he needs a playmaker with the second unit while Shaun Livingston remains out (likely for the first few games of the season).
So he is leaning toward bringing Iguodala off the bench, as reported by Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
So while the Warriors coach appears to be leaning toward starting the season with Iguodala as the team’s sixth man, Kerr acknowledges the decision to have the player lead the team’s second unit is a dilemma.
“I could make an argument he’s been our best player, especially over the last two weeks,” Kerr said Sunday. “Right now in the scrimmages, he’s the most impactful player that we have. The last couple of weeks, he has sort of determined who’s winning (the scrimmage) depending on what side he’s on.
“So from that standpoint, you could call me an idiot. If he’s my best player and I’m not starting him, maybe I’m the one who’s wrong… The argument is absolutely there.”
Iguodala as a point forward (or with Thompson bringing the ball up) and Curry working off the ball has looked good this postseason, it opens up plays within the offense beautifully (coach Nick explains it well at BBallBreakdown.com). He can play this role.
But it only works if Barnes takes a leap forward. He didn’t in the last preseason game — four points, two rebounds, three fouls in 24 minutes — and he’s got a lot to prove.
Looks like Kerr is going to test that out for at least a few games. (If not, he can give Draymond Green a role as starter and keep Iguodala on the bench.)