OAKLAND — Andre Iguodala did not participate in practice Thursday and is questionable for the game Friday night at Utah, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
If Iguodala is unable to play, Kerr will have go deeper into a bench with several untested players. That’s in stark contrast to what Iguodala brings as a veteran with a knack for stabilizing the team at both ends.
“If he doesn’t play, that really affects everything,” he said. “But we’ll play a lot of people, like we usually do.”
Another concern is that the next two games, against the Jazz, and in Denver against the Nuggets, are at altitude. Iguodala’s absence, due to tightness in his left calf, would shorten the rotation considerably when players are needed most.
As it is, Kerr is indicated that the team is still getting into “game shape,” which could be an issue in Salt Lake City and Denver.
“The altitude will be interesting,” he said. “It’s one way of getting over the hump, I guess, is go to 6,000 feet or whatever it is.”
The altitude in Salt Lake City is a little more than 4,200 feet, with Denver another 1,000 feet higher.
Whereas Iguodala usually is the first player off the bench, that role likely falls to veteran Shaun Livingston, who brings similar size with slightly different skills. Livingston, however, is most effective when playing between 15 and 20 minutes.
That would open the door to playing time for Alfonzo McKinnie, whose strong preseason earned him a spot on the roster, as well as rookie Jacob Evans III.
“I’m going to throw everybody out there at some point,” Kerr said. “If Andre’s not playing, you’ll see Alfonzo out there a little bit more. Whatever the game calls for. But I’m not afraid to put anybody out there.”
The Warriors can only play those that are healthy. They’d like it if Iguodala can suit up. If he can’t, there will be some strange lineups featuring some new faces.
That might not be good for the games this weekend, but it should pay off over the course of the season.