Having faced the James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in the championship round for four consecutive seasons with the Golden State Warriors, the 16-year veteran is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead for the Heat.
“You just got to have that will, understanding you’re guarding the top talent ever. He’s going to make you pay when you make mistakes,” Iguodala told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “You just try to play mistake-free basketball. Put him in vulnerable situations where you feel like you got the advantage, whether it’s a shot or a pass or where he is defensively.”
Iguodala, who won Finals MVP in 2015 largely because of his defensive work against James, has held the Los Angeles Lakers star to 44% shooting when guarding him since that series, Spears notes. Expect to see Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra deploy Iguodala as an option to slow James down, given the forward’s wealth of experience.
Jimmy Butler will also likely be tasked with containing James. The four-time All-Defensive selection matched up against The King in past postseasons while playing for the Chicago Bulls. Butler’s Bulls accumulated a 3-8 record against James in the playoffs.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.
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