Another article from BBallBreakdown — they are killing it with their NBA finals coverage — about the Warriors; this time it is how Kerr and Iguodala worked together to make the whole team better:
In the summer, Kerr reached out to each player, communicating his vision for the team and how he saw each individual benefiting the collective. None of those conversations were more important than the one he’d have with Iguodala.
In his time with the Spurs, Kerr had a firsthand view of how Gregg Popovich manufactured deep, adaptable lineups by calling on one of his best players to sacrifice a starting role for the greater good.
Iguodala is a better player than Barnes, but his strengths were largely redundant within the rest of the starting lineup. The Warriors already had playmakers with scoring punch in Curry and Green (or even David Lee, as originally envisioned) and a primary wing defender on the floor in Thompson. There were also duplicate weaknesses, as Bogut (no spacing ability) and Green (good, not great) are rotation points defenses could live with sagging off of.
It perhaps wasn’t the most welcome message, but the vision was clear enough to accept. Starting Barnes put him in a position to be less burdened with creating his own offense and added another shooter to starting lineup, which cleared lanes for Thompson to do more than shoot and Green enough space to terrorize opponents with his playmaking abilities in the four-on-three opportunities provided by the attention Curry demanded.
In the second unit, Iguodala’s playmaking ability could provide structure for more limited bench players while anchoring the defense. Iguodala needed to take a step back in order for the team to make a giant leap forward, his sacrifice ultimately rewarded with the Finals MVP.