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How Will It Play Out?

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First of all, Kudos to Tom Moore for loads of video yesterday, covering this shift (or change) in offensive philosophy from every angle (links to the videos to follow). Now, the news of the moment for the Sixers is an apparent shift to give Andre Iguodala a more active role in initiating the offense. If nothing else, this will give us something to track over the next couple of games.

Here are links to videos on the subject from Doug Collins, Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala (all from Tom Moore). They're all definitely worth a watch.

OK, now what does this mean? According Collins, it's not really much of a departure from their usual game plan. He said he's got four guys who can get them into their offense (Jrue, Iguodala, Turner and Lou - I vehemently disagree about Lou, but that's another story). His point here is that he's just going to shift the responsibility to Iguodala more than he does right now. As far as running efficient offense is concerned, this is probably a good move. Personally, I think Jrue is the best playmaker with the most complete game of the four players, but Iguodala isn't far behind at all, and with Iguodala you've got the added bonus of an exemplary assist-to-turnover ratio (which I believe is a huge motivating factor for the move, or shift, or whatever you want to call it). I have two primary concerns: (1) Is this going to further marginalize Jrue's role in the offense? Right now, he's spending the majority of the fourth quarter standing in the corner on offense. Is that going to happen in the first and third quarters as well? (2) I view every mistake Jrue makes as a 20-year-old PG as one less he's going to make when he's 22. I want him running the offense and learning as much as possible right now.

When asked about playing off the ball, Jrue said he kind of likes it. He gets corner threes, which is his best shot, and he's still able to make plays when he gets the ball in the natural flow of the offense. I don't see any reason to doubt what he's saying. He seems to trust his coach, I've never seen him show any sign of frustration with Collins out on the floor, he says all the right things, and he seems to look up to Iguodala like an older brother, so deferring to AI9 probably won't hurt his ego too much. Still, the lost opportunities eat at me.

The question that hasn't been asked, and really won't be answered until we see them on the floor is whose share of the initiating responsibilities is going to shrink to make room for Iguodala's increase? This could wind up being a win across the board. If Iguodala gets most of the plays Lou Williams was running, the team will be much better for it and Jrue won't be affected at all. I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's possible.

Ultimately, we're going to have to wait until 7pm tonight to see, and I think we'll wind up taking a magnifying glass to the situation after the game. I'm planning on tracking every offensive possession for the Sixers. When the game is over, we'll have a clear record of who was "running the point" for what percentage, and how the team performed in each case. Something to look forward to, if you're into that kind of thing.

Anyway, this is the big story of the day. Discuss below and leave any other thoughts on tonight's game against the Nets. The tip is at 7pm, game thread (with some interesting game-specific stats from GoSixers) will land 90 minutes prior.

Prediction: PHI 97, NJN 90