Harrison Barnes: Will be ready whether I start, come off bench

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

After Golden State coach Steve Kerr went with Andre Iguodala over Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup for Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, the Warriors' strategy for the NBA Finals is in question.

But Barnes offered no insight Tuesday, saying he had "no idea" when asked whether he expected to start Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

"It's not necessarily about starting or coming off the bench or anything like that," Barnes said on "The Damon Bruce Show" on 95.7 The Game. "I'm going to be ready to play Game 1 of the Finals whether I play 20 minutes off the bench or start and play 35, whatever it is. I'm going to do my job because ... there is no better feeling than hoisting that championship trophy. That's what we're in it for."

Barnes said Kerr told him and Iguodala about the Game 7 lineup change the night before.

"We've seen this happen before. Guys have to sacrifice with the playoffs," Barnes said. "I don't think anyone had any issues with it."

Indeed, Kerr made the same switch last year in crunch time, and Iguodala went on to be named the NBA Finals MVP after the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games.

Game 7 was just Iguodala's second start this season, with Kerr preferring to use him to buoy the bench and help solidify the second unit. Iguodala made a pretty bounce pass through the paint to Draymond Green for Golden State's first basket Monday night, and his smothering defense on Kevin Durant kept the Oklahoma City Thunder star without a shot until his 3 at the 5:45 mark in the first.

Iguodala finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 43 minutes in the Warriors' 96-88 win.

Barnes had 5 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 22 minutes off the bench.

ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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