Opponent Recon: Andre Iguodala paying big dividends for Warriors

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors have great starters but a weak bench. If the Pistons want to steal this game it will need to capitalize against the reserves.

Projected starters: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut

Rising: Andre Iguodala. The Warriors pricey new addition has paid dividends so far this year. He's providing his usual excellent defense, taking only quality looks (and making 60 percent of them). He's also playing a team-high 37.3 minutes per game and is the team's de facto backup point guard. In the Warriors' most recent game, a 108-90 loss to Memphis, Iggy shot 8-of-10 from the field with five rebounds, four assists a steal and no turnovers.

No so much: The bench. One of the reasons the Warriors rely so much on Iguodala is that it has an extremely suspect bench. Harrison Barnes is playing somewhere between his ineffectual regular season of last year and his amazing postseason. And after him there is a big dropoff, at least offensively.

Former Spartan Draymond Green plays great defense and is a coach's dream but he can't score in the NBA. Jermaine O'Neal is offering about as much as you would expect a 35-year-old center with a significant injury history and 26,000 minutes on his NBA odometer. The Warriors bench is ranked dead last in offensive efficiency. But they defend like crazy, they rank second in NBA in defensive efficiency, and are used simply to spell the starters.

What you might not know: You can beat them at the free-throw line. I'm not sure if this is a product of the team's interior big men or old-school coach Mark Jackson's coaching philosophy, but the Warriors foul -- a lot. Golden State is tied for last in the NBA, allowing their opponent to shoot 28.9 free throws per game. Detroit excels at getting to the line (averaging 26.5 visits per game), but must convert its opportunities. GSW, meanwhile, averages just 20.6 trips to the line. And if you thought the Pistons were struggling at the line (making just 73.6 percent), the Warriors are even worse (68.8 percent).

Don't let him beat you: Klay Thompson. I would say Steph Curry, but then again with the odds of a Pistons victory are already on the low end, and when Curry lights it up there is nobody more fun to watch. Thompson, on the other hand, has been a somewhat overrated scorer in his career. He's not much of a defender and before this year he was a shooter that was only converting about 42 percent and not getting to the line or doing much else. This year, though, oh man. Thompson is shooting 51/46/86 slash line and averaging 20.4 points per game. When he's on, he's deadly, and so far this year he's been on. Watch out.

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