OAKLAND – One day after returning to a Warriors lineup that spent the better part of a month stumbling without him, Andre Iguodala said he feels fine and was happy to contribute to the team's first feel-good win in weeks.
But even though the swingman's fingerprints were all over the improved play at both ends of the court, Iguodala made a concession: He's still learning the systems being run by the Warriors.
"I was telling coach that sometimes I don’t really know the plays by the call," Iguodala said after practice Wednesday. "I more or less go by the set. I've been on other teams, we've had the same play calls but it was a totally different play. So when I hear the play call, I'm sometimes confused. I might run another play. So I don't even listen for a call. I look for a set."
In short, the free agent acquired in July after spending his first nine seasons in Philadelphia and Denver, reads his new teammates as much or more than his new playbook.
He's getting by on smarts and savvy and instincts and a savant-like ability to comprehend the action and how he should react.
When Iguodala was out of the lineup for 12 games, there was an increase in instances when the offense would clog up and bog down. The ball didn't move much because the spacing was tight, making it easy on the defense.
Iguodala's presence changes that. He's a sublime passer, a respectable spot-up shooter and, above all, is able to decipher what he needs to do at a given time to create opportunities for himself or his teammates.
"I've seen these guys play enough that I know where they like their space," he said. "Just to keep the spacing, I'm just reading off the other guys to keep the flow open."
Just another reason why coach Mark Jackson consistently says Iguodala's value is far beyond the visible. To truly appreciate his impact, note not only the team and individual statistics but also the subtle, even hidden, aspects of the game.