The Golden State Warriors will take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight for the second consecutive time in the pre-season. However, this time they will be playing in Ontario, California, which is located about 45 miles east of Los Angeles. Not only is the location different, but the Warriors will also have a different starting five.
Andre Iguodala broke his nose against the Lakers in their first meeting on Thursday night, but after being evaluated and fitted for a mask, he will be available to play. While he will be in uniform tonight, Iguodala will not start. According to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, Harrison Barnes will start at small forward instead of Iguodala:
Harrison Barnes will start with Curry, Thompson, Lee and Bogut tonight. Kerr wants to see Iguodala and Barbosa come off the bench together. — Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) October 13, 2014
Iguodala started in the 63 games that he appeared in last season, but his injury wasn’t the only reason he is not starting tonight. According to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Iguodala might come off the bench to start the season as they await the arrival of Shaun Livingston:
Steve Kerr said he may end up using Iguodala off the bench early in season (starting Barnes) for playmaking ability while Livingston is out. — Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 13, 2014
The Warriors’ second unit was a weakness last season, but general manager Bob Myers did a good job of adding some depth with Livingston, Brandon Rush, and Leandro Barbosa. With Livingston struggling to recover from surgery on his toe, the Warriors will need some play making ability in the second unit and Kerr wants to see Iguodala and Barbosa work together on offense. This is a great opportunity for Barnes to prove his worth and show that he is a player the Warriors can count on consistently. If Iguodala is able to accept a role on the bench, he will immediately improve the second unit and give the Kerr more confidence when he was to go the bench.