Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has not suited up since Game 4 of the first round against the Denver Nuggets due to a neck injury. He’s missed each of the past 12 playoff games leading up to Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday evening.
Fellow veteran Gary Payton II has also been sidelined recently due to a fractured elbow he suffered in Game 2 of the conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Otto Porter Jr. has missed each of the past two games with a foot injury.
All three are active for Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, meaning that the Warriors are their healthiest we’ve seen all season. That’s a scary proposition for the Celtics.
Impact of Andre Iguodala, others returning for the Golden State Warriors
We’re not 100% sure what Iggy is going to bring to the table. He’s 38 years old and played only 31 games during the regular season — averaging 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. With that said, the Warriors are a dynamic defensive team with him on the court.
As for Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr., we can expect them to play larger roles for Golden State in the NBA Finals.
Payton II proved to be a lock-down defender during the regular season. He’ll be able to handle tasks against the likes of Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown when the Dubs go to their second unit.
Porter Jr. was exceptional in his first regular season as a member of the Warriors. That included shooting 37% from distance. In the 13 games he’s suited up in during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Golden State is plus-91 when he’s on the court.
With these three back in the mix, it remains to be seen what the Warriors’ rotation will look like. We can expect the 19-year-old Jonathan Kuminga to be out of said rotation. Fellow rookie Moses Moody, who was great in the conference finals, will also likely see limited action.