The Warriors haven’t played to their full potential during the regular season this year, and Andre Iguodala has been emblematic of their struggles. A Finals MVP and Sixth Man of the Year contender, Iguodala has brought veteran leadership, elite defense, and glue-guy versatility to the Warriors for years.
But this year, it’s looked like he’s feeling the effects of age, and looks a little banged up almost all the time. His shooting disappeared almost completely, and he’s been a step slower.
This has been a cause of worry for some Warriors fans. Is Iguodala’s poor play due to a true decrease in his playing ability, or is it because he’s not trying as hard and saving his energy for the playoffs? Or is it both?
Fortunately, over the past few games, Iguodala has clearly produced a positive impact. He’s hit the shots he’s taken, and even hit a few threes. He’s looked energized after the All-Star break on both ends. This bodes well.
Against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, he scored 14 points, tying a season-high, hitting four of his five shots and all six of his free throws. He also recorded three blocks and seven rebounds. It might have been his best game of the season.
But he’s not fully back to his old self. By playoff time, it would be amazing for Iguodala to regain at least some of his confidence from three-point range. He’s made some adaptations to his game play as his shot has failed him, including playing more around the hoop and setting more screens. But sometimes, he just has to be able to hit the open three.
Iguodala has been a decent three-point shooter for the last couple years, though he tends to only shoot wide open ones and has been streaky in the past. I do have confidence at some point he will find his shot again.
The Warriors will need Andre to be close to full strength in the playoffs. What he’s provided the past three postseasons has been absolutely crucial to the Warriors’ success. Hopefully, he has not only one, but multiple successful postseason performances left in the tank.