Not being involved in a big trade, the Golden State Warriors remain pretty much the same team from last season except for their head coach. One change they might be willing to consider in order to help out Harrison Barnes get out of his second-year funk is making him a starting player while pushing Andre Iguodala to the bench.
Iguodala’s offensive output has been decreasing quite steadily over the years. Even though he shot 48% from the field last season, it came in inconsistent spurts, while also being affected by him taking only 7.3 shots per game, his lowest since his rookie season back in 2004-2005. His defense, obviously, has been very valuable to the Warriors, but maybe shaking things up, something Kerr has mentioned, could be coming up.
Why Iguodala? Because Curry, Thompson and David Lee won’t be hitting the bench. How about Andrew Bogut? While the Warriors have the option of trying to go smaller thanks to a player like Draymond Green who might be listed as a small forward but is very capable of playing and guarding at the four (which he played all through the postseason), Kerr has said that Bogut will remain his starting center this season.
Barnes had a good rookie year and a disappointing second one. According to 82games.com lists, there’s a huge drop in efficiency when Barnes is in a lineup along with Curry-Thompson-Lee-Bogut than when Iguodala is in the same situation, both on offense and especially on defense. Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and Barnes knowing he is a lineup player might change a thing or two, including his output.
There’s also the potential of a very strong second unit with Green and Iguodala playing together. The Warriors could use Iguodala on the floor as something of a playmaker, something they’ve been doing from time to time, trying to take the pressure off of Stephen Curry in terms of handling the ball. The addition of Shaun Livingston clearly gives them more flexibility on both ends of the floor thanks to his length and height.
Doing the same thing with the same players, simply relying on natural development and a coaching change doesn’t seem like enough. The Warriors need to do something, despite a very good regular season, to put themselves at the same level of the Spurs and Thunder, which seem to be the class of the West. Maybe changing head coaches will be enough, but it’ll probably take something a bit more creative to achieve that goal.