Andre Iguodala leads Warriors bench resurgence as second unit continues to shine


Strength in numbers: The Warriors’ mantra during their championship dynasties instilled fear in opponents with a cast of seasoned veterans and role players who kept their foot on the gas once the headlines hit.

From Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, Quinn Cook to David West, and many more, Golden State’s ability to not miss a beat once Steph Curry and co. Going to the bench was one of the hallmarks of his success and in recent years we have seen the routine open to the middle every time Curry takes a breather.

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On 2020-21 ranked 16th on the bench points and last season, his first outing of five straight trips to the final, were nineth. Throughout the first nine games of the 2021-22 season they have jumped to 3rd in the league in scoring from the bench.

His clever off-season additions to Nemanja Bjielica, Otto Porter and returning franchise legend Andre Iguodala have underscored the rebirth of the bench, with the trio primarily providing a strong combination of scoring, court space and playmaking. from Iguodala, who handed out a season record. 10 assists in their 126-85 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

“When you play Andre, our offense is very simple,” Nemanja Bjelica said.

“It’s very easy. Our second unit, it’s very easy to play guys like Andre, Otto [Porter], [Damion] Lee and especially when I have a few minutes to play with Draymond [Green] and Steph, it’s so much easier. We read to each other. It’s really fun to play like that. “

“It’s beautiful to see it when you have a whole group of guys that are connected and the ball moves and they see the game well together,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Andre has always been the guy who put it all together. He’s been doing that for us again these days, which makes our job as a coaching staff so much easier. “

Now on a four-game win streak, the second unit has been central to their recent wins and were frankly dominant in their 126-85 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, outscoring their reserves 57-30, and did it again against the New Orleans Pelicans. Houston Rockets, combining for 50 points in a 120-107 victory.

Not only is he scoring the bench, but they are doing it to the Golden State Wat, letting it fly from the 3-point line.

Warriors bench triple numbers

PLAYER 3 percentage points
Nemanja Bjielica 50.0%
Damion Lee 48.5%
Otto Porter Jr. 39.1%
Juan Toscano-Anderson 36.4%
Gary Payton II 55.6%

Not only veterans make a difference in the Bay, but also second-year forward Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damion Lee (his fourth leading scorer) and Gary Payton II who have had their moments to start the season.

Payton II seized his chance with both hands after signing an unsecured contract before the season, destined for 15th place on the list, but worked his way up the rotation with his terrifying defense on the ball and his outstanding career finish on the edge.

“It’s really a weapon,” Kerr said of the 28-year-old son of NBA legend Gary Payton.

“He’s really a dynamic player and I think he fits in really well with this year’s team because he has shooting around him. So we can almost reverse the offense. Gary can become the dive man and the pick-and-roll. [guy]. And then we have our greats, Beli and Otto, on the 3-point line, so it’s a different and interesting style.

“Gary is as effective as a shooter, a balloon catcher, a good passer on the short throw, so he’s a real gun and you saw him again tonight.”

The Warriors are currently atop the Western Conference with an 8-1 record, the best in the league, and their only loss came in overtime to the Memphis Grizzlies, surprising everyone in the league except themselves.

The way that we are succeeding and the way that we are opening games, just putting good stretches of basketball together, doesn’t surprise me at all, “said Steph Curry.

What is surprising is the fact that they are doing this without Klay Thompson (Achilles / ACL) and James Wiseman (meniscus), who await their return to the court after an injury. Add in the fact that 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have barely played and will possibly forge roles in the rotation this season, so once they have their full roster available, the Warriors’ second unit will only be will strengthen as the season progresses. progress.

Strength in numbers may be a catchphrase, but we’re seeing it in full effect right now.


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