Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Sunday that Andre Iguodala is getting "closer and closer" to a return to the court, according to Matt Schwab of the San Jose Mercury News. Iguodala has missed the Warriors' last five games with a strained left hamstring.
Iguodala suffered the injury on Nov. 22 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors went on to lose that game, and they've gone just 2-3 in the five games without Iguodala. Golden State was 8-4 prior to the injury.
Iguodala had gotten off to an excellent start, averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 54.5 percent overall and a scorching 47.9 percent from three. In addition to his hot shooting, Iguodala's ability to handle the ball and run the offense effectively was a big plus for the Warriors' offense.
But where Golden State really misses Iguodala is on the defensive end. In the five games without the swingman, the Warriors are giving up 106.8 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com's stats page. For reference, the Utah Jazz currently have the worst defensive rating in the league, and they're giving up 106.8 points per 100 possessions on the season.
With Iguodala, Golden State was one of the top defenses in the NBA. In Iguodala's 483 minutes on the court this season, the Warriors have a defensive rating of 95.4, per NBA.com's stats page. That mark would be good for third in the league. Iguodala's ball pressure and ability to disrupt an opposing offense makes things so much easier for the rest of his teammates, and the fact that he's close to returning is good news for a Golden State squad that's scuffling of late.