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In a word: No.

Bethlehem Shoals had a piece yesterday stating the case that Lou Williams might be more important to the Sixers than Iguodala. Here's his argument, "He's younger, is the kind of scorer the team really needs out of the two, and doesn't overlap the way Iguodala and wunderkind Thaddeus Young do."

Yes, Lou is younger. He'll turn 22 in October, while Old Man Iguodala will be 25 in January. The other two points are flimsy, at best. Lou is a streaky scorer, much like Iguodala, but when you look at their numbers, he is not a more efficient scorer. In fact, and this surprised me, Iguodala averaged more points per 40 minutes, shot a higher percentage from the floor, had a higher true shooting percentage, and a lower usage level than Williams. Williams' role was scorer off the bench. There were plenty of times where he'd come in and take over the offense. I expected his points/40 to be higher than Iguodala's, along with some other efficiency stats, mainly because Iguodala was forced to shoulder more of the load on offense than he should have. That just wasn't the case.

Now, for Shoals' final point, about Iguodala's overlap with Thad Young. Again, he may have a bit of a point, Iguodala hasn't played the shooting guard position very much, he's probably a three by nature, but don't you have the exact same problem with Williams at the two? The main question about Iguodala at the two is his ability to knock down threes, and jumpers. He has the ability to guard opposing two guards. He has good size to play the two, but he's by no means too big. Lou, on the other hand, is a really a tweener, or combo guard, if you will. He's too small to defend the two, doesn't really handle the ball well enough to play the point. Now. you could probably play him at the two with Andre Miller at the point because Miller has the size to guard most shooting guards, but that is not the ideal situation defensively.

On offense, doesn't Williams have the same drawbacks Iguodala does at the two? He shot three percent better than Iguodala from three, but again, you'd have to expect Iguodala's three-point percentage to go up with Brand on the team and Andre not being asked to shoulder so much of the load. Lou is not a pure shooter, he gets the bulk of his points driving to the hoop and in transition.

I'll entertain arguments that Iguodala may not be the long-term solution at the two guard. There are still questions as to whether he'll provide enough outside shooting at the position, serious question. But suggesting that Lou Williams is the answer at the two is a bit silly. He's got the same warts Andre does on offense, and on defense it isn't even an argument.

For now, the Sixers need to sign both guys, start Iguodala at the two and keep Lou as the first guard off the bench and let him play the combo spot which he did so well last year. Worst-case scenario, the Sixers wind up trading Iguodala a year or two down the road if he can't hack the shooting guard position. There should be plenty of takers for a swing man with his talents, if it comes to that.
by Brian on Jul 15 2008
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Lou Williams | Sixers |