The Golden State Warriors will be the healthiest they’ve been all year for the start of the NBA Finals. Prior to Thursday’s Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, the Warriors announced that three key members of the bench, who have been dealing with injuries, will be cleared to play.
Yep, that’s Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., and Andre Iguodala.
Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. are all available to play tonight.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 3, 2022
The only Warrior who will not be available is second-year center James Wiseman, who has not played all season.
These three being healthy is huge for the Dubs. Porter, who missed the last two games against the Dallas Mavericks, has been one of the most important players off the bench all postseason. Payton, who has been out since fracturing his elbow in Game 2 of the semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies, is one of the league’s elite on-ball defenders, and can be disruptive whether put on guards like Marcus Smart, or larger players like Jayson Tatum.
And what’s there to say about Iguadala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, who hasn’t played since Game 4 of the opening round?
Steve Kerr wouldn’t comment on if any of the three would play, just that they would be available. I would assume Porter will for sure play, would expect Payton to play — though perhaps in small doses — and don’t expect Iguodala to play much of a role.
But it sure is nice having those three healthy again, and having the Dubs at (mostly) full strength.