Since 33 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block and only 3 turnovers simply isn't enough for a segment of Sixers fans, I decided to take a closer look at the overall effort Andre Iguodala put forth in yesterday's overtime loss to the Raptors. Check it out after the jump.
Let's get the rotation chart out of the way first:
A couple notable things from the chart above. First, you'll notice Jordan didn't make a sub after the 6:53 mark of the fourth quarter. Second, Elton Brand played a grand total of 8 minutes in the second half. Finally, 19:55 minutes straight with Willie Green at the three. That's comedy, folks.
Speaking of comedy, the three Iguodala took at the end of overtime was a joke. It was a terrible shot, even if Eddie Jordan wanted Iguodala to take a three, he didn't want him to take that one, and I doubt Iguodala himself wanted to take that one. If I had to guess, I'd say he didn't know where he was on the floor when he caught the ball (he sort of had to chase the pass down over his shoulder), then when Bosh backed off him on the initial dribble and he saw daylight he simply rose to shoot. That's just my guess, but no matter what, it was a bad shot. If that play is how you define this game for Iguodala, though, you're simply a fool.
I had to leave the game early due to toddler issues, so I watched the game on League Pass Broadband tonight. After seeing Iguodala ripped to shreds in the game thread, I decided to track his play all over the floor. It's a pretty interesting story.
The most effective way to track impact was to look at possessions ended. On the offensive end, this means Iguodala either made a shot, missed a shot, got to the line, turned the ball over, assisted on a field goal, or on one occasion, threw a lob at the rim that Dalembert was fouled on (resulting in one point).
On the defensive side of the ball, I counted a made shot by Iguodala's man, a missed shot by Iguodala's man, a foul by Iguodala, a steal by Iguodala and a blocked shot by Iguodala and a defensive rebound by Iguodala. Here are the numbers:
- On offense, Iguodala ended 34 possessions (out of roughly 99 total possessions). On those 34 possessions, the Sixers scored 60 points. On the other 65 or so possessions, the Sixers scored 63 points.
- On defense, Iguodala ended 28 possessions (again, out of roughly 99 total possessions). On those 28 possessions, Toronto scored 18 points. I was liberal in assigning blame to Iguodala to get those numbers, as well. If a pick-and-roll was played poorly and his man wound up scoring on the big, the points counted. If the pick-and-roll was played poorly and he switched onto the big who then scored, the points counted.
The defensive numbers are skewed because I'm weighting a defensive rebound the same as a steal, or a missed shot by Iguodala's man, but you get the point. The 33 points and 11 assists don't even begin to tell the whole story about this performance. If all you care about is points scored, Iguodala was plus 15 on his man, and he literally guarded all five positions on the defensive end. If you do care about points produced, the edge is 42 points. If you're of the mind this team needs to get in the open floor to win, Iguodala provided 12 transition-creating plays on the defensive end. If you're into getting the other team into foul trouble, he went to the line 14 times.
I didn't go into detail of this game to say, "See how good Iguodala is?" If you don't already know he's good, there's something wrong with you. I realize this was his best game of the season and not indicative of his average game. The reason I went into this kind of detail is because Iguodala played one of the best games anyone in this league has played this season today, and people came out of it criticizing him. He played 49 amazingly productive minutes and (along with Jrue) carried a lineup consisting of Lou Williams at the two and Willie Green at the three to a HUGE comeback against a stout offensive squad. He played out of position, guarded every single Raptor on the floor. He played with an injury that's been hampering him for weeks. He played 49 minutes in an utterly meaningless game, basically left his guts out on the floor and the only people who don't care are Sixers "fans."
The next time you see a quote about how Iguodala values himself, instead of seeing as ego, try putting yourself in his shoes. Think about what he does for this franchise on a daily basis, what he provides on the floor, what he doesn't do off the floor (cause any kind of trouble). Think about all of that and then ask yourself what your mentality would be when all you hear from fans is that you're a third banana, or you're not a superstar, or you aren't that good. If it was me, I'd have a huge chip on my shoulder, and I'd also make comments like, "Most fans don't understand the game of basketball." Because you know what, it's 100% true.
For the record, 3 other players have scored at least 30, handed out at least 10 dimes and grabbed at least 8 boards in one game this season: LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Deron Williams. I'd say there are maybe 5 or 6 who are capable.
As I mentioned above, Iguodala wasn't alone in this one. Jrue Holiday shot 10/12 from the floor, 2/3 from the line and finished with 25 points, 7 dimes and only 1 turnover in 43 minutes of action.
When I say the core of this team is Iguodala and Holiday, it's combined lines like these that inspire me: 19/26 from the floor, 6/10 from three, 14/17 from the line, 9 boards, 18 assists, 7 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 58 points. Forget about everyone else on the roster and build around those two in every possible way. That's your foundation, no team in the league can boast two perimeter players capable of across the board contributions on a nightly basis like these two, and one of them is only 19.
Player of The Game:
26-50 (Yay, 50 losses)
vs. Detroit on Tuesday
The Pistons, Clippers and Kings all lost. Alone with the 7th-worst record again.