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Andre Iguodala out for Warriors-Cavaliers Game 1

Andre Iguodala

Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala celebrate in the final seconds of Game 5 of the team’s first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors won 99-91, eliminating the Spurs from the playoffs. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Andre Iguodala was central to the Warriors’ success against LeBron James and the Cavaliers the last three NBA Finals.

Golden State must do without Iguodala in Game 1 of these Finals tomorrow.

This is a big loss, but a relatively unsurprising one. Iguodala missed the last four games of the Western Conference finals with a knee injury that is lingering far longer than initially expected. That the Warriors ruled him out more than a full day before Game 1 hints they might not have him for Game 2 Sunday, either.

Without Iguodala, Golden State will likely turn to Kevin Durant and Draymond Green to guard LeBron – matchups that carry significant disadvantages relative to Iguodala primarily handling the assignment. Green doing it removes him as the Warriors’ best help defender and rim protector. Durant doing it reduces his energy for offense.

But Golden State still has four stars – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Durant and Green. The Warriors can withstand this loss and still win, even if the fifth player on the court – Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney or someone else – disrupts spacing and lowers the defensive level.