NBA

Andrew Bogut & Andrew Iguadala.

Andrew Bogut labels Damian Lillard as 'wreckless' following injury to Warriors teammate

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It appears not many people from the Golden State Warriors camp are happy with Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard right now.

Andre Iguodala suffered a sprained ankle after Lillard dove for a loose ball during their clash on March 12. The 25-year-old collided with the Warriors small forward's lower leg, which caused 'Iggy' to crumble under the pressure.

The current NBA champions have since wrapped up the Pacific Division title and remain on course to hunt down the Chicago Bulls' regular season record of 72-10 they set in 1995-96.

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However, Iguodala's presence is sure to be missed and with a crunch game away to the San Antonio Spurs approaching this Saturday night, coach Steve Kerr is understandably upset he has lost such a key cog to his unit.

More to the point, several people inside the Warriors organisation are unhappy about the perceived cynical nature of the foul that subsequently caused the injury.

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Coach Kerr is one of those people. Although he understands Lillard's instincts in the situation, he also implied his actions were careless.

Speaking to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, Kerr said: "It's a dangerous play, but hard to fault a guy for going for a loose ball."

Warriors center Andrew Bogut was far less conservative in his comments, asserting that Lillard was 'wreckless' without directly naming the 25-year-old in a tweet sent out after the game.

What's clear is that Portland were trailing by 25 points at that stage and Lillard cut a frustrated figure. For a man that's been lighting up the charts since the All-Star break, that's quite understandable in any competitor.

Portland Trail Blazers v Indiana Pacers

Lillard doesn't have a rich history with violent and/or cynical fouls, either. His pursuit of the ball may have been overzealous, but it's almost impossible to say he had any intention of hurting the 32-year-old Warriors man.

Still, the fact remains that the Warriors are down a key player.

Talking about Iguodala's loss to the team, Kerr said: "It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal. Andre is so important to everything we do, not only schematically but just emotionally. He settles us down. He’s one of our two captains. He’s one of the guys who just always knows what’s happening on the floor.

"It’s a big loss. But we’ve got a deep team. We’ve got our guys ready to step in for him."

Golden State Warriors v Atlanta Hawks

Kerr is right, the Warriors do have a deep team and alongside the obvious benefits that the fabled 'Splash Bros' bring to the table, one of their primary strengths is a deep, organised roster.

However, Iguodala is the reigning Finals MVP and he is a key, versatile defender within the Warriors' ranks. His absence at such an important part of the campaign will certainly be felt.

Topics:
NBA
Portland Trail Blazers
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry
Damian Lillard

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