I've talked about my belief in the core of this team. This season has whittled it down to its purest form. Two players, an honest-to-goodness pure point guard and a swing capable of playing the two or the three. Between then, they can effectively guard four positions on the floor. If things progress as I believe they could, they could easily average 35 points, 10+ boards and 10+ assists per game between them. After the jump, let's take a look around the league and see how Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday would measure up, should they reach their potential together.
I hate getting ahead of myself, especially when so much can change, but this season has me so drained I need something to look forward to. I'll preface this post by saying Jrue Holiday is only 19 years-old, plenty needs to go right for him to reach his full potential, including this franchise finding the right coach, making smart decisions to surround him with the right players and Jrue needs to put in the work. On the same note, Andre Iguodala may not even be around past this summer. If a decent chunk of the team's fans have their way, he won't be.
Forget about all of that for a second and let's talk about the combo of Holiday and Iguodala, and where they'd match up with other perimeter duos around the league. With a properly constructed roster (read as, a primary scorer at the 2/3 capable of shooting from the outside and big(s) who can set screens, defend, rebound, and convert easy opportunities on the inside), I believe we could count on 17-18ppg from each guy, 5-6 reb/g from Iguodala, 3-5 reb/game from Jrue, 5-6 assists/game from AI9 and 7-10 assists/game from Jrue. On top of those numbers, you could probably chalk up 3 steals per game and maybe a block and a half, not to mention top-notch defense on the opposing team's two best perimeter players.
The time frame? They could
reach those numbers next season, but I think they may be somewhat hollow with the scoring being somewhat inefficient and the turnovers would hurt as well. I'm thinking the following season, Jrue's third in the league, second as a full-time starter and Iguodala's age 28 year. The important thing, and something I honestly don't think the team will address this summer, is that neither of these guys should be your primary scorer. They can be the two best on the team, and while each is more than capable of carrying the scoring load for stretches, there needs to be another guy who will be the primary beneficiary of the creation both of these guys are capable off the dribble. When they get that third guy, things will click on the offensive end and we should see super-efficient scoring to go along with the ancillary stats.
Anyway, in that time frame other teams will obviously shake up their personnel, but here's a quick look at the best two perimeter players from each team, you tell me where this ideal Iguodala/Holiday tandem would stack up:
- Boston - Rondo, Pierce
- Toronto - J. Jack, DeRozen?
- New York - T. Douglas, ?
- New Jersey - D. Harris, C. Lee
- Washington - M. Miller, ?
- Miami - Wade, Beasley
- Orlando - V. Carter, J. Nelson
- Atlanta - M. Bibby, J. Johnson
- Charlotte - S. Jackson, G. Wallace
- Cleveland - M. Williams, L. James
- Chicago - D. Rose, K. Hinrich
- Milwaukee - B. Jennings, C. Delfino
- Indiana - M. Dunleavy, D. Granger
- Detroit - B. Gordon, R. Stuckey
- LA Lakers - Kobe, Artest
- Phoenix - Nash, J. Richardson
- LA Clippers - B. Davis, E. Gordon
- Sacramento - T. Evans, B. Udrih
- Golden State - S. Curry, M. Ellis
- Utah - D. Williams, A. Kirilenko
- Denver - C. Billups, C. Anthony
- OKC - R. Westbrook, K. Durant
- Portland - B. Roy, A. Miller
- Minnesota - J. Flynn, C. Brewer
- Dallas - J. Kidd, S. Marion
- Spurs - T. Parker, M. Ginobili
- Memphis - O. Mayo, R. Gay
- Houston - K. Martin, A. Brooks
- New Orleans - C. Paul, M. Thornton
Of the pairs listed, there are plenty who easily top the scoring potential of AI9/JH. Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis are probably a safe bet to put the most points on the board. As far as defense, you'd probably have to give the nod to Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. Overall, if we're talking about winning now and I'm choosing any two, I'd think long and hard about Chauncey and Melo, same with Artest and Kobe, but at the end of the day, I'd take LeBron and anyone. When you look at this list as a whole, though, can you seriously find more than 3 or 4 pairs you'd take over a duo providing what I've projected above for AI/JH?
I fully realize the odds are against these two guys reaching their full potential in Philadelphia, but let's look past that for a minute and consider what we would have if they were allowed to. Versatile contributors are hard to find in this league. Versatile contributors who know how to play within themselves for the good of the team, and utilize their possessions to score efficiently are rarer still. Add in elite defense from both guys and you absolutely have something to build around.