Andre Iguodala playing in Warriors-Cavaliers Game 3

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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CLEVELAND – Andre Iguodala took the court with his hoodie up and while blowing warm air on his fists. As he took his first shot, his hood slipped forward and covered his eyes. Iguodala removed the obstruction then successfully completed his warmup.

Iguodala has been cleared to play in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight.

The Warriors will no longer be forced to rely on just Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Iguodala provides Golden State with a fifth reliable player – as if it’s four stars weren’t enough of a challenge for the Cavaliers.

Despite Iguodala missing the final four games of the Western Conference finals and first two of NBA Finals with a knee injury, the Warriors advanced past the Rockets and have built a 2-0 lead over Cleveland.

Golden State’s four stars have been predictably strong. Finding them a fifth court-mate has been tricky, though.

Shaun Livingston has played well in Iguodala’s absence. Even JaVale McGee has had his moments.

But Iguodala is the most dependable option. Unlike Livingston and McGee, Iguodala is a capable 3-point shooter. He also defends better – especially against LeBron James.

Iguodala’s return will ease the burden on Durant (for offense) and Green (for help defense). Those two won’t have to spend nearly as much time matched up with LeBron.

The Cavs get a lift with the series moving to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, but now the Warriors will have their own boost.