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If Warriors’ Iguodala is unable to play Game 4? ‘It is a big deal’

You’re going to like what former Stanford, Cal and Warriors coach Mike Montgomery had to say about Andre Iguodala on KNBR Monday. Suffice to say, Monty’s a big fan.
But if you’re a big fan — of Iguodala, and by extension, the Warriors — the effusive, detailed and spot-on praise is going to drag you down given that Iguodala is doubtful for Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “Iggy” suffered a left leg contusion when he banged knees with Houston’s James Harden in Game 3. In fact, by the time Montgomery has finished throwing rose petals at Iguodala’s feet, you’re going to wonder how in the wide world of sports the Dubs can win without him.
“Iguodala, you don’t know he’s out there until he’s not out there,” Montgomery told KNBR’s Tom Tolbert. “And he does so many things. He’s strong. The thing that I like about him so much is he’s so smart and he doesn’t have to shoot the ball. He never takes a bad shot. There’s no wasted motion. He’s simply out there to make everybody else better. He’s like an orchestra conductor making sure every guy is taken care of. He’s special.
Montgomery’s Stanford team played against Iguodala’s Arizona team during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. The Cardinal and Wildcats split four games.
Montgomery then left Stanford to coach the Warriors. Guess who followed him to the NBA? In 2004-05 and 2005-06, Montgomery’s Warriors and Iguodala’s Denver Nuggets split four games.
So Montgomery knows of what he speaks.
“He’s the more veteran version of Draymond Green,” Montgomery said. “You’ve got two guys out there who are really unselfish in terms of organizing. He sees the play ahead. He knows where people are and you don’t see the fact that he’s taken away the passing lane that would have led to the pass that (got) his teammate beat. But there he is, and they can’t make that pass. Those are the things that you don’t see.
“But having two of those guys totally frees up the three superstars if you will, Curry and K.D. and Klay Thompson. It makes their job so much easier. And they’re not bad defenders, everybody’s talking about K.D. with his length and Klay because he’s got size and can lock down smaller guys, but those other two guys allow them to do what they do. You see guys substitute now, even in these two conference finals, you see guys come off the bench who think they have to shoot the ball, who think that’s the way they’re going to get recognition or get their playing time. And these two guys, and we’re talking about Andre obviously, that’s not a factor.”
You don’t have to take Montgomery’s word for it. ESPN analyst and future hall of famer Vince Carter is of like mind.
“(Iguodala) takes the pressure off all those guys having to guard the best players,” Carter said. “Yes, they switch a lot, especially Houston, an iso team. (But) he guards the best player. I think it is a big deal (if he doesn’t play). They need his defensive prowess.”
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Depressed yet? We’ll leave you with uplifting thought from Montgomery:
“Frankly, If they’re at their best,” he said, referring to the Warriors, “and playing as hard as they can play and working together defensively, they’re just flat better than everybody else. That’s the truth of the matter.”

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