After missing the first two games of the NBA Finals, Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala is expected to return in Game 3 on Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Iguodala is no longer in pain and has shown a massive improvement in his injury. On Saturday, he already went through a full personal workout and sprinted for the first time since injuring his left knee in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
The return of Andre Iguodala is undeniably a good news for the Warriors and not a pleasant one for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Iguodala is a known “LeBron Stopper.” His defense against the best player on the planet played a major role in why he was named as the Finals MVP in 2015 where he limited James to an embarrassing 38 percent shooting from the field.
The NBA Finals 2015 has similarities with the ongoing matchup between the Cavaliers and the Warriors. Since Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics, LeBron James is once again the sole focus of the Cavaliers’ offense. If Iguodala can limit James’ production, it will not be a surprise if the Warriors end their best-of-seven series with the Cavaliers in just four games.
However, though there is a huge improvement in his rehabilitation, the availability of Andre Iguodala for Game 3 remains unknown. Still, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr remains optimistic that Iguodala will return “at some point in the series.” Kerr knows how important Iguodala is in their playoff run. Before they faced the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, he said that they would have finished the Houston Rockets in just five games if Iguodala didn’t suffer an injury.
Despite not being able to play in the first two games of the NBA Finals, Kerr revealed that Iguodala was giving advice to his teammates on the bench, especially to the player who was tasked to defend LeBron James. Iguodala reportedly told them to avoid committing bad fouls, close in the distance and force James to make a turnover.
“He came into the huddle the other night in Game 1 with a great suggestion that we went with, and it worked,” Kerr said, via Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports. “Andre knows the game as well as anybody, and I always welcome his input. He’s been a great mentor for the younger guys in this group the last few years. He’s doing everything he can while he’s on the sidelines to help us out.”
The Warriors are soon expected to give an official update regarding Andre Iguodala’s status in Game 3.