The biggest lineup question the Golden State Warriors have heading into their showdown against the Houston Rockets in game 4 is the status of Andre Iguodala.
During game 3, Iguodala collided with James Harden and suffered a left knee contusion. He had been ruled doubtful for game 4 after the bruise under his knee got worse the night after the injury occurred.
Iguodala was held out of practice on Monday as a result of that setback, but he underwent an x-ray and MRI that indicated no structural damage.
Iguodala got treatment on the knee Monday night as well as Tuesday morning, although there are still some variables determining whether he’ll play in game 4.
He has officially been ruled as questionable, and his status will seemingly depend on whether he can tolerate the pain in his sore knee.
It appears to be truly a game-time decision for the Warriors coaching and training staff. Iguodala would presumably wear a protective sleeve on his knee to prevent further injury if he were to play.
With game 4 being in Oakland, the Warriors might not even need Iguodala to secure a win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors still haven’t lost a home playoff game since game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. They’re in a great position right now.
Iguodala is such a crucial piece for this team going forward. It would be a shame if he were rushed back for a game that they probably don’t even need him for.
It would be a different story if it was a 2-2 series heading back to Houston for a game 5, for example, but the Warriors are up 2-1 about to play at home where they just set the NBA record for consecutive home playoff victories.
It’s ultimately up to Iguodala and the staff whether he plays, but it might not be a bad idea for him to rest up and make sure he’s fully healthy going forward.
The NBA playoffs is a marathon. The Warriors have championship aspirations, and Iguodala is more valuable to have at full strength going forward than this game 4.
If he feels well enough to play in game 4, that’s great. Yet it’s important to consider that this is not a must-win game by any stretch of the imagination.
The Warriors are up 2-1 about to play another home game at an arena where they’ve looked nearly invincible. There’s no harm in Iguodala sitting out and just focusing on healing up.