In case you missed it, Andre Iguodala is back to being the player he was last season. It's no coincidence that the team is also on the rise, riding a four-game winning streak into their match-up with Portland tomorrow night. After the jump, we'll take a look at Iguodala's splits, see if there was a magic bullet that woke him up, and see if we can pick out a few subtleties in the numbers.
First the numbers, then some analysis:
Obviously, the first thing to look at is the date-based splits. Through the first 17 games, Iguodala's shooting numbers were horrific. Less than 40% from the floor, and it gets uglier from there. It's probably no shock that the team was 7-10 through November.
Since December, the Sixers have gone through a coaching change, lost Elton Brand, and compiled a 10-10 record. Keep in mind that their monster 6-game road trip also came during that time period. Iggy's production over those 20 games has been excellent: 20 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.9 steals, 50% from the floor, 78.4% from the line. His three-point shooting, however, has remained terrible.
When we look at these splits a little more closely, a couple of things stand out. First, Iguodala's contributions in every area but scoring/shooting, have remained consistent throughout the season. His poor shooting didn't trickle down into the rest of his game, which is a good sign. His turnovers have remained consistent throughout the season, which isn't a good thing when we're talking about 3 per game.
Iggy has been playing his best ball since Elton Brand went down. I'm not sure what this says about him. Everyone, myself included, has said he isn't a number one guy. Does that really hold true when you look at these numbers? When Brand went down, the mantle was passed to Iggy. Since then, he's upped his shooting percentage to 51.7%, his 3-point percentage to 28.9% (still horrible), his assists are up, his steals are up and he's scoring 21.8 points per game.
A couple of stats surprised me, foremost among them, Iguodala's rebounding numbers by position. He started 22 games at shooting guard (team record: 9-13), in those games he averaged 6.7 rebounds/game. I the 15 games he's started at small forward (8-7) his rebound average has dropped to 5.3, while his assists are up from the position. Logic would say his rebounds would go up and his assists would dip when moved to the three, but it hasn't happened.
Iggy's move back to the three came two games before Mo's departure, so the majority of his time at the three has been under Coach DiLeo. I'm not sure if this is the cause or the effect, but I do believe that DiLeo's focus on the running game has meant earlier releases by the wings. They aren't crashing the defensive glass as hard, instead they're trying to get down the floor for an outlet and an easy opportunity on the break. More often than not, Iguodala is leading the break. This puts more pressure on the bigs to secure defensive rebounds and it could explain the team's overall problems on the glass. Elton Brand's return (which is nearing quickly) should right the rebounding ship.
So those were my initial thoughts from the splits, chime in in the comments with your own.