OAKLAND — Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (left lateral leg contusion, bone bruise in left knee) is officially out for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, head coach Steve Kerr announced on Sunday. As for wing Klay Thompson (left lateral leg contusion, ankle), he will be a game-time decision.
“Klay will warm up and we’ll see,” Kerr said. “He was doing better this morning when he checked in with the training staff, so I’m hopeful he will play.”
While Iguodala — who earned the 2015 NBA Finals MVP largely for his defensive work on LeBron James — has missed every game since banging his left knee against the right knee of James Harden in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Thompson has never missed a playoff game. Thompson has missed a total of 20 games in his career.
“He’s going to go warm up, and if he and the training staff say he’s OK, then we’ll play him,” Kerr said.
Thompson — one of the Warriors’ best perimeter defenders — went down with 6:17 to go in the first quarter of Game 1, when J.R. Smith, going for a steal, rolled into Thompson’s left leg. He missed the rest of the quarter, but played 39:38 out of the final 41 minutes in the overtime win for Golden State, scoring 24 points.
“I don’t remember other than his year when he hurt his wrist, I don’t ever remember him being hobbled before,” Kerr said.
Not having Thompson means the Warriors will likely have to go to Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook and Nick Young for more minutes, or possibly go with two big men on the floor more often, which would mean more minutes for David West and JaVale McGee, who helped slow down James at the start of the third quarter.
“We met as a staff this morning to go over that scenario,” Kerr said. “We have a plan in place if he doesn’t play, and we’ll go from there, but this is how it has to work. When guys are out, you have to turn to the next option, and guys have to be ready to step up and play.”
That next option may be Patrick McCaw. After having suffered a lumbar spine contusion on March 31 against the Sacramento Kings, McCaw wasn’t expected to play again this season, much less in the playoffs. He missed the last two months, but saw five total minutes of action in the Warriors’ Game 6 and Game 7 wins, as well as first-quarter minutes in Game 1.
“It’s a phenomenal story,” Kerr said. “It’s a huge relief, more than anything, given his state that night. That was a terrifying moment for him and his family. It’s great to see how quickly he’s recovered, and he’s done a good job when we’ve put him out there for limited minutes. He knows what he’s doing. It’s good to have him back, and out there on the floor.”
As for Iguodala, who did not practice on Saturday, Kerr said he is optimistic that he will play at some point in the series. A combination of Kevin Durant, David West, McGee, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell allowed James to go off for a personal playoff-best 51 points in Game 1, to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds.
“[Iguodala] has gotten better gradually, but there’s no way of knowing for sure at this point,” Kerr said. “”He’s doing everything he can while he’s on the sidelines to help us out.”
Iguodala been instrumental in helping youngsters Looney and Bell, as well as the staff when it comes to defensive suggestions.
“He came into a huddle the other night in Game 1 with a suggestion that we went with, and it worked,” Kerr said. “Andre knows the game as well as anybody, and I always welcome his input.”
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