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Warriors won Game 1 with a starting five that had never played an NBA minute together

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Andre Iguodala at ... point guard? It worked!

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Kerr is a madman, and he shuns the orthodox. In Game 1, as the Golden State Warriors face the San Antonio Spurs, Kerr opted to play this following starting lineup: Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, JaVale McGee (?), and Andre Iguodala (??).

That lineup has never even played a minute in an NBA game together, this season or last. But hey, it worked.

In a 113-92 win over San Antonio, the Warriors’ starting five was plus-12 in about 14 minutes on the court. They started the game on the right foot defensively, and JaVale McGee especially was locked in, disrupting LaMarcus Aldridge with his length.

Obviously, Kerr’s lineup choices have been complicated by Stephen Curry’s knee sprain, which will keep him out at least another week and perhaps the entire first round. Down the stretch of the regular season, the Warriors had been starting Quinn Cook in his place. Zaza Pachulia had received the most starting nods at center, but McGee and Kevon Looney both took turns in the starting five, too.

Iguodala is far from a traditional point guard, but he, Durant, and Green all split time with the ball in their hands. Iguodala had four assists, Durant had seven, and Green finished with 11.

Kerr might be thinking that defense will win this series, sans Curry. Certainly, San Antonio will find scoring hard all series, missing Kawhi Leonard virtually all year, who led them with more than 25 points per game last year. Since Durant-led lineups can usually manufacture offense at league-average rates even when somewhat devoid of shooting, he may skew towards better defensive ones like this.

But it’s still a pretty Popovich-ian move to start a playoff series — in the very first game! — with a lineup that has literally never played one minute together. And it’s even more Popovich-ian for that to work.