Andre Iguodala, the longest tenured Sixers player, has yet to establish a concrete image among fans. Diehard Sixers fans will concede that he shoots way too many jumpers, but generally argue that Andre is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Casual fans, the ones that read columnists who don’t pay attention to the team, lack a basic understanding of basketball, and watch few games will usually think Andre’s worth nothing.
This difference in opinion stems, I believe, from his lack of scoring. On a good team, Andre is not a leading scorer, a second leading scorer, or maybe even a third. He’s not a good shooter, and he’s not a great scorer otherwise. I’ll have more on this a little later, but the main idea here is that, overall, scoring is weighed too heavily when discussing a player’s impact.
The player reviews will be broken into sections, dividing offense and defense, comparing stats and scouting.
44.8% FG, 32.6% 3FG, 70.9% FT
Andre’s shot is, well, odd. It has a high arc, which generally is a good thing. That makes it hard to block, and usually adding more arc to a shot benefits a shooter, so long as range isn’t hurt too much. But it seems, and I may be wrong, as I’ve never talked to him, it looks as if he puts some spin on the ball (unintentionally) as he releases it almost every time, and that hurts his accuracy, especially when he’s going off the dribble. He’s probably about an average stand-still shooter, but more of his shots come off the dribble than not.
His free throw shooting hasn’t ever been great – he gets a lot of those top-spinning shots there too. In summary, he’s not a very good shooter, and probably takes too many shots from 18-feet and outward.
14.3 PPG, 11.3 FGA, 4.6 FTA,
Andre, considering how often the ball is in his hands, doesn’t choose to shoot much. In Basketball-Reference.com’s “Black Holes” calculations, Andre’s passing and shooting per possessions were highest and lowest, respectively, among all forwards and shooting guards, and about mid-pack for a point guard.
At his best, Andre scores on fast breaks and cuts. He can finish with both hands but he’s not an elite finisher in traffic – he’s not big enough for people to bounce off him, though he can create contact with his speed, as many defenders can’t keep up with him.
Passing and Ball-Handling
6.2 AST, 1.8 TO, 3.39:1 AST:TO
Andre’s a willing passer (see the “Black Holes” link) and a good one at that. He’s 18th in the NBA in assists per game. He’s 4th in the NBA in assist-turnover ratio among qualified players, ahead of guys like Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash. Yeah, he’s that good. He works best when in the “triple-threat” position, when he catches the ball and can make a decision whether to pass, shoot, or drive – the old Dirk Nowitzki play, where the player gets the ball about 15-17 away from the rim, works very well (although it hasn’t been used much this year).
6.0 RPG, 0.9 ORPG, 5.1 DRPG
Andre rarely fights for an offensive rebound – any he’ll get will be on breaks or on tip-outs not given to another player. On defense, though, he will fight for rebounds, and at his best he’ll grab rebounds and bring the ball up the court himself, pressuring the defense in the process. His long arms make up for his 6’6″ height. That and boxing out will do wonders on the defensive boards.
1.6 STL, 0.6 BLK
Andre has long arms but rarely jumps up and “rejects” his guy. Usually, he swats at a guy to create a block, which is virtually a steal but with a shot attempt involved. He on occasion will gamble for steals, but usually he gets his steals by picking off errant passes or just by bottling up his defender. Laterally, he’s very quick, which helps him stay with opposing players. He can guard anyone 1-3 and some 4′s with his quickness and length.
Andre isn’t the best help defender – he’s more a shut-down individual defender, though as I mentioned before he will get steals off team defense. He doesn’t take many charges, and isn’t a shot-blocker.
Next up, Thaddeus Young, after tonight’s game.