The final installment of our Predicting 2010 series features none other than the face of the franchise, Andre Iguodala. A top-ten player in the league in my mind, switching to a new position with a bigger share of the responsibility for the team's fortunes, I'll do my best to project his upcoming (All Star?) season after the jump.
Let's switch things up and go stats first:
We should probably go through this line by line. Minutes, plus two, simply because he is the glue that holds this team together. Think back to last season and how bad the team was when both Miller and Iguodala were on the bench. Well, I'm not expecting much of a change this year. They're going to need to lean on Iguodala for heavy minutes, and even though I'd like to see him get more rest, it's probably not going to be an option.
With more minutes come more shots. His attempts are up across the board, but his percentages don't drop precipitously. He's simply not the type of player who's going to start jacking bad shots. He'll get his looks on the break and within the offense, I see his three-point percentage rising simply because I think he'll get more open catch-and-shoot looks than he did last season. The free throw percentage is probably nothing more than optimism. There's no reason he should be a 72% shooter from the line, I'm hoping he ironed out his routine and form over the summer.
The rebounding numbers take a dive simply because the bulk of his minutes come as a guard, rather than forward. 5.1 is still an excellent number, and I think we'll see him hit double digits more than a couple times. He knows when the team needs help on the boards, and he contributes, especially late in games.
Assists are the biggest improvement, mainly because I believe he's going to be the primary ballhandler, decision-maker and distributor. This is a very, very good thing for the team. He's got the instincts and he's the type of player who thrives on setting up teammates. With Miller gone, there's an absolute void. Lou is what Lou is, a scorer. He'll do his share of setting up guys off pick-and-rolls, but it's going to be Iguodala who makes the PO run.
20+ points, 5+ rebounds, 7+ assists. Lofty numbers, and I think a lock to make Iguodala an All Star for the first time.
Iguodala has been option 3, option 2, option 1B, everything but the true lead guy on a team. Now, by lead guy, I don't mean he needs to lead them in scoring every night. I don't even mean he needs to lead them in scoring on the season, although I think he will this season, what I mean is that everything starts with him. LeBron isn't the PG in Cleveland, nor Kobe in LA, but when they're on the floor, the ball runs through them. This year, that's going to be Iguodala, it's going to have to be. It's going to show in his numbers, and I'm hoping those numbers are going to translate into wins.
Thoughts in the comments, full series here.