Appreciating Andre Iguodala

Whether or not Andre gets traded; with all of the rumors flying around I think it’s important to give Andre his due for his hard work. As a player, sometimes it can be frustrating to hear rumors, especially if they’re not true. But in this case, I do think Andre will be traded at some point. None of the rumors are to die for except for maybe the second pick from the Wolves. The only player I ever considered that he gave 100% effort every night in a Sixer uniform (since I started watching them) is Allen Iverson. That said, Andre has given his “A” game often too. Two game-winners are my favorite. The one in Orlando; game 1 of the 2009 playoffs. That caught me off guard. And the one in Staples Center beating the Lakers in the same season as the Magic game.

His dunks on the break have been electric. I still think he got robbed in the dunk contest against Nate Robinson. At least he won game MVP for the Rookie vs Sophomore game in 2006.

He’s a defender and sometimes that is over looked. Brian from Depressed Fan gave an article called The Iguodala Effect which showed how well Andre has contributed to the Sixers, especially on defense. Look at this chart:

 

w/AI9 w/o AI9
PTS/48 15.4 27.1
EFG 46.5 56.0
FGA/48 13.3 18.3
FTA/48 3.6 8.1
REB/48 6.2 7.7
AST/48 2.8 3.5
TOV/48 2.9 2.4
PER 10.3 20.1

It shows how well Andre guards his assignment. w/AI9 is when he’s guarding his man and of course w/o AI9 is when he’s not. Obviously, Andre makes a bigger impact on the court than some people think. I’ll go as far as to say that Andre has been at this level of defense for the past 3 seasons (this 10-11 season included). He finally got some recognition for it by being named to the NBA Second Defensive Team.

Hey nobody is perfect. Those game winners made my eyes hurt because of that wacky high arc jumper. I still think he takes too many jumpers but I have to say he has improved his shooting; especially from the 3-ball. I remember early in his career he was never really a shooter but, for some reason I don’t know of, he would always have a good shooting game vs the Raptors.

But he’s good in other areas of the game. He can rebound, pass, and if there was a stat for keeping track of tipped passes like in the NFL, Andre would be among the leaders in that category. I remember the season where he was one of 3 or 4 players to average at least 15 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. Two other players were Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Andre’s points were obviously the lowest of these three but it’s still good company.

The rumors flying around have him going to the Timberwolves, Lakers, Clippers, and even the Warriors. Andre said he wasn’t even sure he would be a Sixer next season. What was the deal with him not doing the exit interview? Some things have lead up to people saying Andre doesn’t want to be here. And he deserves a chance to have a shot at winning a championship, which may not happen here in Philly. Maybe, with Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday as the proclaimed future of the team, he may not feel wanted.

We get on him for the jump shots he takes, or how he’s not aggressive enough at getting to the rim. Some bash him for being overpaid. I say, let’s take a moment to look at the good things. If Andre does get traded; things will get worse before they get better and I hope fans are ready for that. As it stands, the only player the Sixers would be getting back from all these trade rumors that can defend is Ron Artest and he’s in his 30′s now so he’s got a shorter span left to be a high octane defender. I appreciate his defense and his offensive versatility and they will be sorely missed if/when he’s traded/injured.

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