Warriors hitting their stride in China
"The approach is the same, to try and get to know the guys, so they can get a feel for how I play." (USATSI)
Programming note: Are you an early-riser? Catch the Warriors-Lakers game on Friday LIVE from Shanghai, China at 4:30 a.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Four games into the Warriors’ seven-game preseason schedule, we’ve seen a fast start by power forward David Lee and a furious finish by point guard Stephen Curry.
We’ve seen 7-foot center Andrew Bogut play heavy minutes, seen shooting guard Klay Thompson as a starter and as a sixth man.
And, yes, we’ve seen Andre Iguodala utterly dominate specific moments of games as few others can. The newly acquired wing is smooth and efficient, that rare player who sprinkles parts of his game all over the stat sheet.
"My history has been just letting my game do the talking for me,’’ Iguodala said recently.
Iguodala will attempt to make his presence felt yet again on Friday, when the Warriors meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the second and final game of their weeklong tour of China. The game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and will be televised by CSN Bay Area at 4:30 a.m. PDT.
There has been considerable fan curiosity about Iguodala’s role and what position he’ll play. Know this: He will play any of four positions, from point guard to power forward, depending on what coach Mark Jackson is seeking at any particular time.
The coach already has grown comfortable with Iguodala on the floor; he played a game-high 40 minutes in the Warriors’ 100-95 win over the Lakers on Tuesday. His numbers: 9 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. That’s typical Iguodala – on a poor night.
[RELATED: Warriors open China trip with comeback win]
His biggest challenge these days is learning the tendencies of his new teammates, especially Bogut and Lee. The big men spend a lot of time inside, where Iguodala likes to operate. He’s coming to the Warriors after one season in Denver, which followed eight in Philadelphia.
"Having gone through this before, you kind of see some bumps in the road that you can prepare for, a few things you can adjust to before it happens because you see it coming,’’ Iguodala said. "I try to do that.
"But the approach is the same, to try and get to know the guys, so they can get a feel for how I play. It always takes a little time for me to adjust to the bigs and for them to get adjusted to me. I’m trying to get that out of the way earlier.’’
The bumps so far have been relatively small, which usually is the case with a player like Iguodala, whose hoops intellect often guides him to provide whatever is needed.
Rotation Roulette: Jackson initially planned to play it safe with his starters on Tuesday, suggesting he would give reserves plenty of playing time. Upon closer inspection, though, that changed.
The coach and his staff realized the primary starters are still trying to find the comfort zone they came to know last season. So with the Warriors trailing at the end of three quarters, Jackson turned to his starters, who rewarded him by forging a comeback win.
"It was important for us to try to establish a rhythm and to try to get those guys playing well together,’’ Jackson said after the game.
Layups: Small forward Harrison Barnes, still recovering from inflammation in his left foot, is listed as doubtful for Friday's game.
In line image of Andre Iguodala provided by USATSI