Andre Iguodala 'huge loss' for Warriors, to be re-evaluated in one week

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Losing Iguodala at least one week 'huge loss' for Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has been ruled out for Wednesday night's Game 5 matchup in Golden State's first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. This isn't the first game he has missed this series, and it won't be the last he misses in these playoffs.

Iguodala has been ruled out with a left cervical/disc injury. He missed the Warriors' blowout win in Game 2 with what was deemed neck spasms, but this issue sounds more serious. Iguodala will be re-evaluated in one week, which means he will miss the remainder of this series and the start of the next if the Warriors advance.

"The neck is bothering him again," Steve Kerr said to reporters after shootaround. "He's disappointed, he can't play."

The 38-year-old was limited to only 31 regular-season games this season due to a handful of injuries, along with the Warriors being cautious and not playing him on back-to-backs. In his three playoff appearances against the Nuggets, Iguodala has shot just 1-for-5 from the field and has missed both of his 3-point attempts. He struggled in the Warriors' Game 4 loss, going 0-for-3 from the field while committing two turnovers and being called for five fouls in 12-and-a-half minutes on the floor.

But he was a plus-11 in the Warriors' Game 1 win with four assists, two rebounds and one block off the bench. He then provided four rebounds, three assists and another block in Game 3.

Iguodala is a three-time champion, former Finals MVP and still has one of the highest basketball IQs in the game.

"It's a huge loss for us," Kerr said. "He's a guy who has been through everything and has seen it all in his career and has played in a million playoff games for us. He knows exactly what's going on and we can use him in a variety of ways.

"We played him at small-ball five last game. He's one of our best passers, he's one of our best defenders, so it's a big loss."

RELATED: Three areas Warriors can improve to win Game 5 vs. Nuggets

His absence could open the door for youth and explosiveness with veteran leadership being forced to take a break. While Iguodala is the oldest player in the Western Conference playoffs, Jonathan Kuminga is the youngest at 19 years old. The rookie was given his first chance at real playoff minutes in Game 4 and he didn't disappoint.

He scored nine points in just over 11 minutes off the bench, all in the second quarter. Kuminga became the youngest player ever to score at least nine points in one half of a playoff game. For the highlight dunks he provided, he also played strong defense and his athleticism stood out.

One day prior to the Iguodala news, Kerr wouldn't say how much Kuminga would play Wednesday, but made it clear he has a role with these Warriors -- whether that be in this series or beyond. That role might have just been forced to expand and quicker than anticipated.

There will be times where his play isn't always technically sound like Iguodala's, but there's no doubt it will be must-see TV whenever Kuminga steps on the court.

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