Andre Iguodala

Warriors' veteran tag team made sure things stayed calm in Game 3 win vs Spurs

Warriors' veteran tag team made sure things stayed calm in Game 3 win vs Spurs

SAN ANTONIO -- The Illinois Boys don’t do flash or dash. They don’t do much thrilling or spilling, either.

They do reliable.

Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston do smooth hoops. They are seasoned veterans that do what it takes to make the game easier for their teammates, and the Warriors are the beneficiaries.

Both were on their games Thursday night, providing the insulation within a 110-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of their first-round series.

While Kevin Durant was leading the team and scoring and rebounding, and Draymond Green was leading in assists and blocks, and Kevon Looney was leading in steals, Iguodala and Livington were leading forces in making sure things stayed tight and together.

“It’s kind of funny how we trade off,” said Iguodala, from Springfield, Ill.

“We flip and flop,” said Livingston, from Peoria.

Iguodala played 27 minutes and made 4-of-9 shots from the field, Livingston played 20 minutes and made 4-of-9 from the field.

They combined for 26 points, 16 for Livingston and 10 for Iguodala. They combined for seven rebound and five assists. Iguodala was plus-12, Livingston plus-7.

Most important, they combined for one turnover.

On a night when the death of Erin Popovich, the wife of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, was in the minds of all inside AT&T Center, the Warriors needed Iguodala and Livingston to be their usual steady selves.

“To have that veteran leadership in the locker room, I think it’s great,” Draymond Green said. “It was a perfect setup for a letdown . . . but we still wanted to come out and try to win the game. Having that veteran leadership to try to put that to the side, no matter what, knowing that they were going to come out on an emotional high.”

Green didn’t mention Iguodala or Livingston by name. He didn’t have to.

They are team leaders and calming influences in the locker room and on the court. And each does it quietly and without pomp.

Iguodala is 34, in his 14th season, drafted ninth overall in 2004 from the University of Arizona. Livingston is 32, in his 14th season, drafted fourth overall, out of Peoria Central High School.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, by design, wants one of them on the court at all times.

They swapped in the first quarter, Livingston for Iguodala. They swapped in the second quarter, Iguodala for Livingston. They swapped in the third, Livingston for Iguodala and again in the fourth, Iguodala for Livingston.

“We just let the game come to us,” Livingston said.

Maybe that’s why the work they do seems so smooth and almost quiet.

The anatomy of the Andre Iguodala staredown of Manu Ginobili

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NBC Sports Bay Area

The anatomy of the Andre Iguodala staredown of Manu Ginobili

It might have been the most memorable play from the Warriors' Game 2 win over the Spurs.

With about 2:50 left in the 4th quarter, Andre Iguodala hammered home a lob pass from Draymond Green to give Golden State a 110-97 lead.

The best part -- Iguodala pointing towards the basket right after passing the ball to Draymond. He really, really wanted a lob.

Well actually, that wasn't the best part of the whole play.

Without question, Iguodala's staredown of Ginobili takes the cake.

Just watch this:

(You should watch it 1,000 times.)

So why did Iguodala do that?

Because he didn't like how on a couple of possessions prior, Ginobili hounded him as he initiated the offense (watch how Iguodala turns to look at the referee both times).

 

Iguodala even complained to Steve Kerr about it:

We need more of this kind of stuff in our lives...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors brief: Is 'Playoff Iguodala' a real thing?

Warriors brief: Is 'Playoff Iguodala' a real thing?

The competition between the Rockets and Warriors this season actually started in the summer, when the bidding war started for Andre Iguodala’s services. In the end the Warriors won the prize, though there are reports that it came down to the wire in the end. The winning bid ended up being a three-year deal for $48 million, which was a lot more than many expected going into the offseason (including the Warriors themselves).

After the deal was signed there was a common consensus that the deal and his value would be worth it come playoff time. Many assumed that he would coast through the regular season until then. However, once the season started, and Iguodala did exactly that, it was many of those same people that turned on their own original assumptions and now assumed the worst. The critics started circling like vultures over Iguodala, deciding he had been overpaid and now did not care anymore, that he aged considerably over one offseason and now was just a high-priced spotty bench player that couldn’t hit a three or defend consistently.

Yet to some fans, media, Warriors executives, players and especially Igudodala himself, it was expected with great confidence he would turn it on come April. He missed six of the last seven games of the regular season, but despite that health scare, he was going to be ready to go come playoffs. And he has not disappointed.

Through the first two games of the first round, Iguodala has gone a combined 5-for-7 from deep, and also added 14 rebounds and nine assists. Last season, it took Iguodala 14 games into the playoffs (he played in 13 of them) to finally hit his fifth shot from long range. So the question is: has Iguodala consistently shown in his tenure as a Warrior that he is a new player come playoffs?

In his first year with the Warriors in the 2013-14 season (Mark Jackson’s last year as the head coach) Iguodala played well in the seven game opening round series that the Warriors lost to the Clippers. He finished the seven games averaging 13.1 points on 52 percent shooting from the field and 53 percent shooting from distance, while most importantly playing his elite level defense.

The following season, under Steve Kerr, Iguodala then made the well documented move to the bench as the Warriors’ sixth man. That was also the postseason were the Warriors famously inserted Iguodala into the starting lineup once they were trailing in the Finals, and he went on to capture Finals MVP with his exceptional performance and defense on LeBron James. In total, he finished those playoffs averaging 10.4 points on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from deep over 21 playoff games. But it was in the Finals that he made his biggest impact statistically, dropping 16.3 points per game on 52 percent overall shooting and a 40 percent clip from three point range.

Yet again, despite losing in the quite controversial Finals series to the Cavaliers, Iguodala performed admirably in the playoffs during the 2015-16 season. He finished the 24 total games averaging nine points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from deep. These averages were very similar to his regular season numbers of seven points per game, 48 percent field goal percentage and 35 percent on threes.

Finally we come to last season, which was a bit of an aberration statistically for Iguodala since joining the Warriors. He missed his first 18 shots from deep to start the playoffs, and eventually by game 13 of the postseason, he was hitting a measly 3 of 27 shots from long range. He would go on to finish shooting 19 percent from three point range when all was said and done, but his overall 46 percent shooting from the field and his three-to-one assist to turnover ratio was much needed for a Warriors team that dealt with some injuries early on.

Despite this extensive breakdown of Iguodala’s statistics throughout his Warriors playoff career, his true value is not seen in the traditional box score. Iguodala has proven to be a performer that needs to be critiqued qualitatively rather than quantitatively. His defense, leadership, energy and overall basketball I.Q. have been invaluable to the Warriors during his tenure with the team. He is already off to a hot start this postseason, but you should expect nothing less than Playoff Iguodala.