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|Golden State forward Andre Iguodala will miss Game 1 of the NBA Finals as he recovers from a bone bruise in his left knee that cost him the last four games of the Western Conference finals.Iguodala’s absence is a huge blow to the Warriors‘ defense as it works to stop LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State coach Steve Kerr said several players will be called upon Thursday to handle the load that is James http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-fred-warner-jersey , making his eighth straight finals appearance.
”He was MVP of the series in 2015, largely because he took that role on of guarding LeBron. But also because of what he did offensively,” Kerr said. ”He’s doing a little bit better today. Some encouraging signs, but we have ruled him out for Game 1. We’ve got lots of guys who can take on that job. It’s a group effort, anyway, guarding LeBron. So, KD (Kevin Durant), Draymond (Green), Klay (Thompson), Shaun Livingston Sylvester Williams Color Rush Jersey , they’ll all see time on him.”
The Warriors said Iguodala, who was injured in Game 3 against the Rockets on May 20, was evaluated Tuesday and is making progress but still has the bruise and inflammation of the nerve surrounding his knee. Kerr has said Iguodala wouldn’t play until he can run without pain. He will be re-evaluated ahead of Sunday’s Game 2.
Iguodala said he doesn’t have any doubts he will be able to return during the finals, though his patience is tested. He has sought multiple opinions for the injury.
”Just trying to figure out how to move in general,” Iguodala said. ”But making some progress. Slower than we expected but we’re just being realistic.”
Kevon Looney has been starting in Iguodala’s place.
Looney planned to talk to Iguodala about the task of guarding James.
”I’ll pick his brain about some things … some tendencies of LeBron, the fact of the switches or small things like that to help me out,” Looney said. ”He’s one of the best defenders in the league.”
That’s why everybody on the Warriors realizes it will be a joint effort guarding James.
”What he brings to us on the defensive end will definitely be missed,” Green said. ”But it just means other guys have got to step up. Other guys have done that thus far. The task gets even harder but I know guys will and it will be a collective effort in hopes that we keep trekking along until he’s ready to come back.”
Forward Kevin Love’s status for Cleveland remained unclear as he continues to go through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Love was injured in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston that the Cavs pulled out in seven. He wasn’t scheduled to attend media day Wednesday at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors host the series opener in the fourth straight finals meeting between the rivals.
”He’s going to go do some things today and see how he feels,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ”But he is in the protocol still Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey , so we’ll see how he feels.”
Both teams practiced Wednesday on Golden State’s home floor, where the defending champions have won 17 of their last 18 postseason games.
James certainly understands what the Warriors are missing without Iguodala’s presence and athleticism.
”First of all he has very, very quick hands,” James said. ”That doesn’t get talked about a lot, his ability to read and react to the ball either in flight or while you’re dribbling or when you pick the ball up.”
Marvin Bagley III was adamant that he was the best player going into the draft and was quick to share that opinion when asked. The former Duke star wasn’t backing down after being taken by the Sacramento Kings with the second overall selection, either.
”That’s just the type of player I am,” Bagley said during a conference call with reporters. ”I’m going to have confidence in my game. I still think I’m the best player in the draft and I stand by that. I put a lot of work into it and I’m glad that I’ll be able to show it with Sacramento.”
Bagley’s positioning in the draft had been a topic of debate in the days leading up to the draft, whereas 7-foot-1 center Deandre Ayton of Arizona was almost unanimously viewed as the top overall pick.
The Phoenix Suns grabbed Ayton with the No. 1 pick, dropping Bagley to the No. 2 spot with Sacramento, which he says will give him added incentive heading into the NBA.
”It just lit a fire inside of me to want to play and compete at a high level Authentic Isac Lundestrom Jersey ,” Bagley said. ”So I’m happy it ended like that. Now all we can do is step out on the floor and play the game. That’s what it all is.”
The Kings drafted another Duke player, Gary Trent Jr., with the 37th overall pick then traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for two future second-round selections.
Bagley will be a welcome addition in Sacramento’s frontcourt. The 6-foot-11 Bagley was AP’s player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference during his only season at Duke. He averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting better than 60 percent and has the ability to consistently finish at the rim.
That is key for the Kings, who were inconsistent inside much of last season while finishing 27-55.
”Marvin is an elite talent in this draft, a great player,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. ”He’s a guy who works hard, wants to improve, learn, coachable, good teammate. Checks all the boxes that we want.”
Divac had several options with the franchise’s highest pick since the Kings grabbed Pervis Ellison with the top overall pick in 1989.
Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. and Real Madrid sensation Luka Doncic were linked to Sacramento in the weeks leading up to the draft. Both were intriguing for different reasons http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-minkah-fitzpatrick-jersey , but there were questions about Porter’s health as well as concerns about Doncic’s ability to carry over his international success to the NBA.
By contrast, Bagley is considered a safe pick who should help the Kings’ inside scoring and rebounding.
”Marvin is for us a better fit, a better player,” Divac said. ”It was an easy choice for us.”
Bagley was one of four players in Division I to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in 2017. He joins a struggling franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006.
Coach Dave Joerger’s young team showed flashes at times in 2017 but there was never an established starting lineup and players were shuffled in and out.
Bagley played forward at Duke but could also get time at center in Joerger’s system. The 19-year-old is more of a scoring threat than last year’s starter, Willie Cauley-Stein, although both big men need more development on the defensive end.
A more likely scenario is the two big men playing together to give the Kings an inside presence on both ends.
Sacramento also has Skal Labissiere, who had an uneven season while dealing with injuries in 2017. Harry Giles, acquired in a draft-day trade from Portland a year ago, is also on the roster but didn’t play at all his rookie season after recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee.
Bagley’s ability to play both forward positions and center will give Joerger flexibility within his lineup.
”He can play 3, 4 and 5 http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-weston-richburg-jersey ,” Divac said. ”That’s what’s in Marvin’s unique talent, he can play multiple positions.”
Bagley is eager to get started. He is due to fly to Sacramento on Saturday and has already been penciled in to play in the NBA’s summer league.
”I think I can bring a lot to a team, offensively and defensively, inside and out,” Bagley said. ”I’m very confident in my game and my abilities. I know how much work I put into this and how much I sacrificed for it. I’m excited to show the world, my team and my teammates everything I can do.”