The dynamic of the 2015 NBA Finals changed when Warriors coach Steve Kerr inserted Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup. Iguodala made such an impact in helping Golden State win the NBA title that he took home NBA Finals MVP honors. Stephen Curry may lead the way offensively for the Warriors, but Iguodala played a massive role at both ends of the court for the new NBA champions.
Iguodala hadn't started a game all season until he joined the starting five for Game 4. The Warriors didn't lose again. He spent the series serving as the primary defender on LeBron James, and while James put up huge numbers, Iguodala did an admirable job defending and came up with several huge defensive plays in key moments against James. His defensive effort was valuable enough, but Iguodala also found his outside shot during the series and became a major offensive contributor.
Iguodala beat James by a 7-4 vote to win Finals MVP honors.
Full Finals MVP ballot/voters (via NBA PR) pic.twitter.com/SjCMmiVoFY— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) June 17, 2015
While Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and even Curry struggled at times during the series, Iguodala scored 14 or more points in five of the six games. He scored 22 in a huge Game 4 performance. He was arguably the best Warrior on the floor in the clinching Game 6, scoring 25 points while several other Warriors struggled to get going offensively. He didn't become the third Splash Brother during the series, but did rediscover his outside shot some and hit some timely three-pointers.
During the season, Kerr used Iguodala as a calming influence off the bench to settle the action when things went awry on the floor. He served that same role against Cleveland, but did so while playing defense against the best player in the world and while logging huge minutes. He was Golden State's best two-way player all series and was rewarded for his effort.
Iguodala claims Finals MVP honors over Curry who was excellent in his own right. The regular season MVP struggled at times -- including in Game 2 -- but could have easily added Finals MVP to his trophy case. He was at his best during the fourth quarters, twice scoring 17 in the final quarter while also heating up on Tuesday to put the game out of reach.
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