NBA Gameday: Iguodala won't suit up against Heat

NBA Gameday: Iguodala won't suit up against Heat

Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage starts today at 3:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

The last time they saw the Miami Heat, the Warriors got quite the warning. They trailed by as much as 10 points before coming back for the victory in Oakland.

It was quite clear in the postgame comments from coach Steve Kerr and the players that the Heat, regardless of their lowly status this season, never stopped competing.

The Warriors (38-6) surely will recall that when they put their seven-game win streak on the line Monday in the rematch at American Airlines Arena.

The Heat (14-30) have won their last three games, including an impressive victory over the Rockets last Tuesday.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 12

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Goran Dragic: Though the point guards won’t always defend each other, each serves as the igniter of his team’s offense. Both have been playing well, as Curry is coming off a 27-point effort (with seven 3-pointers) at Orlando and Dragic has scored 57 points (on 67.9 percent shooting) over his last two games.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (rest) and C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Heat: G Tyler Johnson (L shoulder sprain) is listed as questionable. F Josh McRoberts (L foot stress fracture), G Josh Richardson (L foot sprain) and F Justise Winslow (R shoulder surgery) are listed as out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 107-95, on Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena and have won five in a row and eight of the last 10.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE BIG MEN: Heat center Hassan Whiteside torched the Warriors for 28 points and 20 rebounds two weeks ago. He was Miami’s most effective offensive player, even as the Warriors rotated five defenders on him. Though Zaza Pachulia will again get the primary assignment, expect Whiteside to again see different looks.

KLAY’S BACK: The Warriors opted to rest Klay Thompson in the last meeting, starting rookie Pat McCaw. Well, Thompson will play tonight, and he is one day removed from drilling 7-of-9 3-pointers in the win at Orlando. Though Dion Waiters will try to match Thompson’s scoring, Miami has nobody suited to contain Klay.

BRING IT EARLY: Expecting constant defensive pressure from the Heat, the Warriors will need to summon intensity from the start or risk, yet again, having to generate a second-half comeback. It worked well on Sunday, but it’s a dangerous game to play, particularly on the road.

Warriors survive test from Heat: 'Definitely a different game'

Warriors survive test from Heat: 'Definitely a different game'

OAKLAND -- The Miami Heat these days aren’t much to look at. The megastars have abandoned South Beach, leaving the franchise to hatch anew. Yet as the brain trust eyes the future, those still in uniform play with an admirable relentlessness.

Which is exactly what the Warriors need to see and feel, as often as possible.

If the Warriors are to reach the NBA summit in June, they’re going to need plenty of experience in rugged, ugly, borderline-brutal games, such as that which the Heat forced them into Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

Though the Warriors prevailed, 107-95, they took many blows along the way, beating back multiple rallies. Not until the final seconds were they able to exhale.

“They play hard every possession,” coach Steve Kerr said of the Heat.

“They just play hard,” Stephen Curry said. “Every possession, they were coming at you.”

For a team like the Warriors, who can get casual about their abundance of talent, being pushed and shoved and made to perspire is fabulous practice.

As is having an 11-point lead after three quarters shaved to three by the middle of the fourth.

The Warriors were put in a position where they had to execute, or else risk losing to a team that had lost eight of nine and entered the evening with an 11-28 record.

They succeeded.

“Yeah, we didn’t turn the ball over, which is helping us at least get shots on the rim,” Curry said. “We definitely had several possessions where we knew exactly what we wanted to get and we executed.

“That’ll continue to show itself as we go through the season with just our focus and just the clarity of what we want to accomplish down the stretch of games. Whether we make or miss shots, you live with that, but not turning the ball over and getting a lot of movement and not settling, that was big for us tonight.”

Kevin Durant, who scored a team-high 28 points, took note of the team’s work in the fourth quarter and came away feeling as if there is progress in an area that had been an issue in close games.

“Coach called some plays and we ran them to perfection and got some layups and got some stops as well,” he said. “It was definitely a different game, not having him out there, but we adjusted as the game went on.”

Though it may have been against Miami without LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, this was no gimme. This is not a team that will be in the playoffs, but it brought intensity to everything it did Tuesday night.

And that’s enough for the Warriors to derive some healthy benefit.

Andre Iguodala reveals the key to Kevin Durant's success

Andre Iguodala reveals the key to Kevin Durant's success

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay area and streaming live right here.

Kevin Durant is averaging 27.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.6 blocks and 2.3 turnovers per game.

He is shooting 57 percent from the field, 44.2 percent from deep and 84.9 percent from the free throw line.

Is Andre Iguodala surprised the transition from Oklahoma City to Golden State has been so smooth for the four-time scoring champion?

"A guy of his caliber and the way he plays, he can fit in anywhere," Iguodala said at practice on Wednesday. "But the key thing about him is he has no weaknesses. He doesn't have to pound the ball, it doesn't have to be in his hands. He's so efficient when he gets it, you can just plug him in anywhere and he'll make it happen for you.

"He can do so much but he just hasn't had to. He's only had that one huge game against OKC (39 points), but he's capable of doing that on a nightly basis ... for him, it's just making sure that everybody is comfortable.

"He doesn't have to exert so much energy trying to do too much. He's just getting more and more comfortable and acclimated with the team."

Durant boasts a true shooting percentage of 68.1. To put that in perspective, in his unanimous MVP seasons last year, Steph Curry registered a mark of 66.9.

“KD has been just about as good as you can possibly be. I don’t think he’s really scratched the surface as far as what he can do,” Iguodala told reporters after Monday's win over Atlanta. “He’s kind of holding back on everyone else, so I’m looking forward for him to step on that pedal as we continue...

“I’m telling you, he’s got a crazy arsenal. He’s one of the best scorers of all time as far as finding a way to score. It’s peeling layers – it’s kind of like an onion. It’s crazy. It’s amazing.

"You guys will see it, and you’ll enjoy it ... I think sometimes he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t shoot too many shots, but we’re trying to let him know that it’s impossible for him to shoot too many shots.”