The Golden State Warriors made one change to their starting lineup in Game 4. Andre Iguodala started over Andrew Bogut even though Steve Kerr said differently. Pre-game, Steve Kerr was asked if Andrew Bogut would start. His answer was,
“There would be no changes in the starting lineup.”
If there were no changes, Bogut was projected to start. Steve Kerr lied about Andre Iguodala’s first start this season. This gave the Warriors a smaller, faster starting lineup placing Draymond Green at the center spot. Steve Kerr praised Iguodala saying,
“He has been our best player all series”
If he has been the best player on the Warriors, then he deserves to start. The Warriors kicked into gear after calling a timeout after being down 7-0 in the first quarter. The Cavaliers went from high energy to having no answer for this new starting 5. The Warriors were flying up and down the court and found efficiency at the three point line. Andre Iguodala tied Steph Curry for the Warriors lead in points with 22 points. Their defense tightened up limiting LeBron James to 20 points and J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Matthew Dellavedova to a combined 7/30 (23% from the field) for 19 points. The Cleveland Cavaliers looked lost.
Even LeBron James had praise for the ringless veteran. He said post game,
“He’s one of the X factors, and he came to play”
“He shot the ball extremely well. He hit four 3s. He was in attack. He got a couple dunks in transition early on in the game, which got him going, and he was really good for them.”
Kerr had no remorse when asked about his decision. Post-game, Kerr said,
“Sorry, but I don’t think they hand you the trophy based on morality,”
“They give it to you if you win. So sorry about that.”
This sneaky move is why Kerr was a candidate for Coach of the Year. He caught the Cavaliers off guard and used depth to his advantage. This faster lineup tested the Cavaliers depth that only had 7 bench points. Matthew Dellavedova’s hamstring cramped up and LeBron James cut his head on a camera before half time. Nothing worked for the Cavaliers in Game 4. The Cavaliers bench at the end of the game looked depressed.
The Warriors needed to win Game 4. Kerr’s idea was genius. He gave the Warriors an edge that the Cavaliers were not expecting. The momentum has shifted in the Warriors favor and the team found confidence again in the system that led them to the best team in the NBA. Confidence is what the Warriors need to win an NBA Championship.
The momentum in this series has shifted on a game-by-game basis. Both the Warriors and the Cavaliers have looked like contenders and pretenders. Both have won at home and on the road. This series can go in any direction.