Steve Kerr still leaning toward bringing Andre Iguodala off bench


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 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.)

67RIEFNS No. 38: Warriors starters with Draymond Green


The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

I’ve already expressed my affection for the Warriors starting lineup, but let me offer a slight variation:

Sub in Draymond Green.

With Green in a place of a Golden State starter, the unit essentially becomes a feistier version of the starting lineup.

And when I say in place of a starter, I mean any starter. Whether Green replaced Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry last season, the Warriors performed better last season.

And remember, Golden State’s starting lineup posted offensive AND defensive ratings that would have led the NBA. Here’s the difference Green made:


Lineup Minutes Offensive rating Defensive rating Net rating
Starters 819 112.4 97 +15.4
Green for Bogut 105 123.4 89.2 +34.2
Green for Lee 71 116.1 100 +16.1
Green for Iguodala 28 134.4 102.6 +31.8
Green for Curry 7 113.3 70.5 +42.8
Green for Thompson 4 126.9 25 +101.9

Obviously, there are huge sample-size issues when Green replaces a guard or even the small forward. I’m certainly not suggesting the Warriors put Green on the perimeter regularly.

But their success in those lineups speaks to Green’s versatility.

He’s a pesky defender, capably guarding a number of positions. He crashes the glass and hits open jumpers, smartly positioning himself to do both. And he’s tough, bringing physicality to a team that needed it before his arrival.

All in all, he’s a great glue guy. That really shines when Golden State plays him with its top players.

67RIEFNS No. 27: Chandler Parsons in the spotlight


The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

Here’s a list of everyone who has posted as many win shares as Chandler Parsons during the last two seasons:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Chris Bosh
  • Mike Conley
  • Stephen Curry
  • Anthony Davis
  • Goran Dragic
  • Tim Duncan
  • Kevin Durant
  • Marc Gasol
  • Paul George
  • Blake Griffin
  • James Harden
  • George Hill
  • Dwight Howard
  • Serge Ibaka
  • LeBron James
  • Al Jefferson
  • DeAndre Jordan
  • David Lee
  • Damian Lillard
  • Robin Lopez
  • Kevin Love
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Joakim Noah
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Tony Parker
  • Chandler Parsons
  • Chris Paul
  • Dwyane Wade
  • David West
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Deron Williams

Let’s narrow that list by eliminating anyone who has made an All-Star game or All-NBA team in that span:

  • Mike Conley
  • George Hill
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Al Jefferson
  • DeAndre Jordan
  • Robin Lopez
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Chandler Parsons
  • David West
  • Deron Williams

Finally, let’s trim it to players 25 and under:

  • Serge Ibaka
  • Chandler Parsons

No, Parsons is not a star on the level of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dirk Nowitzki – players the Rockets chased this summer. But Parsons fits into a sub-group of definitely productive and potentially overlooked players, and he’s young enough that it’s still possible for him to develop into an All-Star. Ibaka is certainly not bad company.

I don’t blame Houston for pursuing upgrades over Parsons. He’s not infallible. And that the Rockets failed to land anyone better than Trevor Ariza does not prove they took the wrong strategy. Sometimes, playing the odds correctly renders a bad result.

But once the chips were on the table and LeBron (Cavaliers), Melo (Knicks), Bosh (Heat) and Nowitzki (Mavericks) had all chosen their teams, Houston still declined to match the Mavericks’ offer sheet to Parsons. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey explained it’d be easier to get a third star by saving that money now.

Morey might be right.

But he might not be.

Two years ago, Parsons was the second best player (to James Harden) on a playoff team. Last year, Dwight Howard pushed him to third banana, though Parsons played even better than he did the previous season.

Parsons is a quality shooter who can get to the basket and either score or distribute, a skill set that does wonders for floor spacing. Parsons will allow the Mavericks to overcome their downgrade at point guard from Jose Calderon to Jameer Nelson. Defensively, Parsons is only passable, but Rick Carlisle can make that work.

Parsons could become Dallas’ second-best player behind Dirk Nowitzki, even though Houston never saw him as a good-enough third option.

There’s a chance Houston uses the freed money to acquired a third star. There’s also a chance Parsons becomes that third star. I would have bet on Parsons, but it’s a close call.

In Dallas, Parsons has a chance to prove himself.

ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Golden State Warriors


Last season: The Warriors continued their ascent under Mark Jackson – going from 23-43 to 47-35 to 51-31. Then, they fired Jackson.

Arguably, the team took a step back because it didn’t win a playoff series after upsetting the Nuggets the year prior. However, the Warriors – without an injured Andrew Bogut – pushed the Clippers, a better team than the 2012-13 Nuggets, to seven games in the first round. I’d argue Golden State improved, but so did the Western Conference.

Off the court, it was a weird year. Jackson had assistant coach Brian Scalabrine reassigned and then fired assistant Darren Erman. Questions swirled throughout the season, including during the playoffs, about Jackson’s own job security. That’s a lot of turmoil for a winning team.

Signature highlight from last season: The Warriors had more than their share of thrilling game-winning jumpers last season. I can’t pick just one two three four five, so I went with six:

Key offseason moves:

Keys to the Warriors season:

Steve Kerr hitting the ground running: On the court, the Warriors were doing well under Jackson.

Was he getting the most from the team? Maybe not, especially offensively. But the bar is high, and the players are largely the same with some small improvements on the bench.

All the pressure is on Kerr, who has no coaching experience.

Even an average offensive coach should help on that end, where Golden State ranked a surprisingly low 12th in points per possession last season. But it will be challenging for Kerr to improve the elite defense – and overall picture.

Relying on a starting lineup that works: Golden State’s starting lineup – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – posted the best net-rating among the NBA’s 30 most-used lineups. Only the Trail Blazers’ starters return in tact with more playing time together last year.

The Warriors’ starters have developed chemistry. They’ve performed well. And they’re all back.

Stick with what works.

Developing and implementing a bench: On the downside of having such a well-used starting lineup is the reserves often played only with each other, and those hockey-style line changes sometimes yielded negative results.

The talent is there to better integrate the bench players with the starters and find lineups that work.

Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes are reliably solid reserve options. Signing Livingston, though he’s injured, should help. Signing Rush and Barbosa could help. If Festus Ezeli gets healthy, he’s another piece.

The Warriors can become more complete.

Forgetting about Kevin Love: The Warriors seemed to be in position to trade for Kevin Love this summer by trading Klay Thompson, but they didn’t pull the trigger. Undoubtedly, there will be times Love excels in Cleveland, and everyone around Golden State – including in the locker room – wonders whether that was a mistake. It’s human nature.

But the Warriors can’t let them overwhelm what could be a very positive season.

Klay Thompson building off a great summer: Thompson, 24, is the only Warrior starter under 26. If that already-strong unit is going to progress, the pressure is on him more than anyone to elevate his game. It’s even higher considering Golden State kept him rather than trading for Love.

Thompson excelled, especially defensively, with Team USA this summer, and that could be a breakthrough for him. He’s at least in the conversation as the NBA’s best two-way shooting guard.

Whether or not Thompson gets an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline, the Warriors have put a lot of faith in him.

Why you should watch: Stephen Curry will retire as the best shooter of all time. He probably hasn’t earned that title quite yet, but he’s on track. He can pull up from anywhere on the court – and often does.

This team has so many skilled players, and when its offense is humming – which didn’t happen enough last season – it’s really a thing of beauty.

As last season showed, the Warriors have a high defensive ceiling, as Mark Jackson put even Curry and Lee in position to succeed. I don’t expect to see that repeated, but if it happens, Golden State’s defense is a fun watch for basketball junkies.

Prediction: 46-36. Maybe Steve Kerr makes the Warriors better in the long run – maybe. But I don’t see him stepping in with no coaching experience and instantly making the team better – especially not in such a challenging Western Conference.

The Warriors have enough talent to remain dangerous, and I expect the offense to improve while the defense slips. The team could look much different while producing similar results, but such a transition usually means some short-term slippage.

Shaun Livingston’s injury has Warriors considering bring Andre Iguodala off bench

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The Warriors just can’t find a backup point guard.

They traded for Jordan Crawford last season, and when he didn’t work out, they traded for Steve Blake, who also underwhelmed.

Their key offseason addition, Shaun Livingston, got hurt – and it seems his injury will keep him out on the long end of projections.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

If Livingston can’t play, the main point guard options behind Stephen Curry are Nemanja Nedovic (who played sparsely as a rookie last season) and Aaron Craft (acquired as an undrafted free agent). Needless to say, that’s pretty underwhelming.

But Andre Iguodala can distribute, and he might get a role that allows him to do so.

Mike Trudell of

Although Iguodala would probably work well with the second unit, I’m quite fond of Golden State’s starting lineup and wouldn’t rush to break it up. This could be the Warriors creating a bigger problem to solve their backup-point guard dilemma.

Here’s how the Warriors’ other four starters – Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – performed with Iguodala or Barnes last season:

Lineup Offensive rating Defensive rating Net rating
With Iguodala 112.4 97 +15.4
With Barnes 97.3 102.8 -5.5

Bringing Iguodala off the bench might be necessary if neither Nedovic nor Craft can handle a rotation role, but it’d be my last resort. And if it’s necessary, I’d rather start Draymond Green – a better defender (and maybe player) than Barnes.

But the goal, regardless of who starts, still should be playing Iguodala frequently with Curry, Thompson, Lee and Bogut. That unit is just too reliably good to disband.