Warriors

Warriors

If Andre Iguodala -- who is listed as doubtful -- does not play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, the assumption to many is that Kevon Looney would be the obvious choice to replace him in the lineup.

Looney was sensational on defense in Game 3, beautifully switching, keeping his body in front of smaller Rockets, extending his arms vertically while smartly avoiding reaching or jumping at pump fakes. But Steve Kerr has shown in the playoffs that he has not shied away from starting Nick Young when missing a starter. Despite some low points earlier in the playoffs, Young has played above average man-to-man defense when switched onto smaller Houston guards like Chris Paul and James Harden, while simultaneously shooting well from deep -- 6-for-14 from 3-point range. 

While Looney and Young would be the favorites to start for an injured Iguodala, one name that could be a dark horse is Jordan Bell.

Kerr tends to try to keep role players in their specific roles if they are playing well. Rather than get greedy and try to extend them, he has them flourish in their comfort zone. If he were to stick with this strategy, Jordan Bell could be the player plucked from a limited role and thrust into the starting lineup, which would keep Looney in his spot as the sixth man, and have Young comfortable in his role in the second unit.

Bell has played very few meaningful minutes so far in the playoffs, but in Game 3, Kerr decided to give him a shot to mixed results in a rather up and down 10 minutes of action (half of which were in garbage time). But since Bell has now had a chance to shake some of the rust off and begin to get acclimated to playing high level basketball, perhaps he can step in to the vacant spot left by Iguodala, and start out by guarding a player like P.J. Tucker, who tends to stay in the corner on offense. 

 

The money is definitely on Looney or Young. They have proven to be effective this series, and Kerr may want to start with a defensive focused unit with Looney or a dangerous offensive squad with Young.

But don't rule out Bell. It is a long shot, but hey, maybe he can be some lightning in a bottle.