Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Clippers Game 2 starts Monday night at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live. Bookmark this page for comprehensive coverage of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series.
LOS ANGELES – When the Warriors pulled off a stunning deal to acquire free-agent forward Andre Iguodala last summer, the motive behind the move was clear.
To take the next step toward becoming a legitimate contender, they needed another savvy veteran and an elite wing defender. Iguodala fills both roles.
"This is why we went and got him," coach Mark Jackson said.
Iguodala's postseason debut as a Warrior did not go nearly as well as he or the team would have liked. He fouled out in 20 minutes, finishing with eight points and three assists.
Iguodala's impact was, as it often is, most notable when he was off the floor. His defense of Clippers guard J.J. Redick was superb. Of Redick's 22 points, only five came with Iguodala on the floor.
"We've been playing each other for a lot of years," Iguodala said. "So I kind of know how to play against him."
Shortly after Iguodala left with his fifth foul in the third quarter, Redick went on a personal binge, scoring 10 points in a little more than two minutes.
The Warriors would like a bit more from Iguodala than 20 minutes of action and locking up one of the best shooters in the league. They need him to run the offense at times, to pitch in with scoring and to lead.
"I've had a lot of postseason experience, played against a lot of great teams," Iguodala said before Sunday's practice. "Most of the teams I've lost to in the postseason made it to the finals, so I've had a chance to play a lot of series against championship-caliber teams
"I want to bring that experience to this team, to help us understand the importance of every possession and point out some of the little, minute things that might get overlooked."
Iguodala, 30, still is battling tendinitis in his right knee. The playoff schedule, allowing at least one off day between every game may help Iguodala deliver 35 minutes on game day and be the player he was when healthy in the regular season. He was the league's No. 1 player in terms of positive impact, according to frequently debated plus-minus statistic.
"He's a guy that when the lights get bright, he plays better," Jackson said. "He did that against us last year in the playoffs. He was the best Denver Nuggets player against us in the playoffs. We fully expect him to have a tremendous impact."