Sports Nut

Who Did It Better? Andre Iguodola.

Related: Steve Kerr’s alive, you guys!

Screengrab from YouTube.

Steph Curry. LeBron James. Matthew Dellavedova. Through the first three games of the NBA Finals, those were your winners of Slate’s very clearly defined “Who Did It Better?” award.

Basically, the individual players who, in one way or another, swung the game in their respective team’s favor. Trust us, it’s a complicated and well-reasoned system.

Anyway, without further ado, your winner for Game 4 is… Andre Iguodola!

Admittedly, this was a close one, with Curry (4-7 from three), Draymond Green (for finally not playing like an angry sack of marbles), and the rogue, Cleveland-hating zoom lens all garnering hypothetical votes. In the end though, Iguodola’s shift to the starting lineup—and accompanying 22-point offensive outburst—was the difference on Thursday night.

At least part of the credit goes to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, obviously. After a start to the series that had seen him thoroughly outcoached by David Blatt (!!!), Kerr showed his first signs of life pre-tip. Realizing that something was awry with his historically great team, he decided to go small with his starting lineup—a move that paid off in a big way. With Andrew Bogut on the bench, Green sliding over to center, and Iguodola in at forward, the Warriors were finally able to attack at a pace that Cleveland’s depleted roster couldn’t trap into a possession-by-possession game.

And Iguodola, specifically, was the biggest reason why. Take the series below, for instance.

In just over a minute of game time at the end of the first quarter, Iguodola shows off the full breadth of his game. First, he streaks behind the Cleveland defense on a fast break, finishing a Shaun Livingston feed with a dunk. On the following possession, he sets up the offense, resulting in a David Lee layup. Then, on the third offensive possession, he knocks down a three. And in between? Oh, just D’s up LeBron on consecutive defensive possessions.

With 22 points (8-15 from the field, 4-9 from three) and eights rebounds, Iguodola’s impact on the game definitely showed up in the box score. It was his presence in the starting lineup, and his efficient, up-tempo style of play, though, that made all the difference for the Warriors in Game 4.