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Numero Uno?

Eye-opening stats. You really can't argue with anything you said.

I have a question though. I've often asked myself this question throughout the season.
When did Iguodala become this guy? It'd be interesting to see how these numbers compare to last years.

I think he's really focused on defense this season more than he did the past two. Like a light bulb went off in his head that he needs to be a complete player for this team to win.

When he first came into the league, defense was the only thing he was known for. I think when he first took over the scoring lead for the team, he let his defense slip a little. Now, he focuses on both.

He's like a smokin' hot girl who just realized she's hot. I knew he had completely evolved when he starting rockin' the shooting sleeve.

No doubt there's no more than 10 players I'd rather have. Then again, I don't watch any other team like I do the Sixers. But until someone busts out a chart like this for say, Carmelo Anthony, I'm convinced Iggy is top 10.

You're right, the shooting sleeve was probably the turning point :)

I think that you're confusing two things. Iguodala has an extremely positive net impact on this team, and as such is an extremely valuable player. Top ten in the league isn't at all unreasonable. But when people talk about "number ones," they're talking about dominant offensive players, and that Iguodala is not. He really isn't anymore valuable to our offense than Miller, probably less so. He isn't having, statistically, quite as good an offensive year as John Salmons. Now, as Barry went on to say, you don't need a "number one" to win - as he should know, having won a ring with Detroit. But it certainly can help - after all, Detroit's the only team that's won a championship in ages without a single really dominant scorer. I guess one vision of the future of this team is that Iguodala, Young and Speights will mature into an electric trio and manage to carry us to a title, much as Billups, Hamilton and Wallace were able to win in Detroit. (Where Brand fits into this rosy picture, I have no idea.) But it's just as possible that ten years from now we'll all be wishing that we had traded Iverson for junk instead of Miller, sat everyone that year with phantom injuries, drafted Durant, let Iguodala be the Pippen to his Jordan, etc.

Joe reply to Tray on Apr 5 at 8:23

I think part of his argument is that the way people define "number 1" is absolutely retarded. And it is IMO.

Real and Speightacular reply to Tray on Apr 5 at 11:43

I think Tray's hit the nail on the head. Every team has a few number ones: number one rebounder, number one assist man, steals guy, blocks, etc on down the normal boxscore line. Sometimes there'll be a guy (eg LeBron, Paul) who'll be the number one guy for a few categories.

But when it comes to number one in scoring I think Detroit's been the only exception to the rule that a championship level team, along with all the other must-haves like solid defensive play etc, must have at least one guy who's averaged at least 20-odd points a game for a season.

Is Iggy going to be that guy, or Thad? Or Speights, one day? That needs to be sorted out and all the other guys fall in line with their own role. Happily, with no back talk or grumblin.

I don't want to confuse things with a Durant argument, but I guess what I'd like to know is this: If you need a hoop for the win, whose hands do you want the ball in on the Sixers? For me, it's Iguodala. Even when Brand comes back it's going to be Iguodala.

If you need a stop for the win, who do you want defending the other team's best player? For me, it's probably Iguodala, maybe Ivey if the guy is smaller. For my money, a guy isn't truly a number one unless he's the answer to both those questions.

I'm with Brian on this one.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Apr 5 at 18:02

We're arguing two different things, here.

Bri: Iggy is a better all-round player than anyone else on the Sixers and he's a far sight better all-round player than the vast majority of NBA players.
Me: No argument.

My point is re scoring and in that dimension, Iggy's still better than most but he's not a guy with that Kobe/Wade/Lou-like ability to break down defenses and he doesn't yet possess a killer shot. He does very well with the tools he has but I don't believe it's enough for a championship team and that's what we're building toward, right?

That role needs to be occupied by someone, preferably the same person (of course that's not to say that no one else is allowed to step up if he's having an off night), game in, game out. That someone needs to be a player the opposing squad needs to devote much time/concern/effort to stop. More and more it looks to me like Thad has emerged to take that role.

Is deadly scorer the role with the most ballyhoo? Sure. Is the attention disproportionate wrt the importance of the other roles on the team? Absolutely. Is it a critical role for a championship team? Affirmative.

deepsixersuede on Apr 5 at 8:15

Tray, you said the magic word [Pippen]. He is the guy I want Iggy to become and if Thad can become a 20 to 25 ppg. scorer it will allow Iggy to be the jack of all trades guy all teams need. Brian, good point about his improved defense,he really has gotten back to it as a priority.

Top 10? Nah.

Players better for sure right now...

Paul, Deron, Wade, Ginobli, Bryant, Roy, Lebron, Garnett, Gasol, Boozer, Howard.

There are others better as well in my mind, but these guys stick out a little more.

I do think he is in competition for 2nd best SF in the NBA though and probably wins. Pierce and Durant are his best competition.

You think all those guys are better all around players than Iguodala? I'd immediately drop Manu, Boozer and Gasol from the list. Roy is a huge debate, but I'd take Iggy over him as well.

2nd best SF in the league says a lot, doesn't it?

Tom Moore on Apr 5 at 10:23

I think folks might be getting a little carried away here. When (if?) Iguodala becomes a consistent outside shooter, he could be called a legit No. 1. He is not a top 10 player yet -- or an all-star, though he's getting closer. Yes, he's shooting better than 50 percent inside the arc and played extremely well against the Pistons and Prince, but on how many teams would he be the No. 1 option? Less than half.

Again, I think we're getting hung up on scoring too much. On how many teams would he be the best all around player on the floor? I'm thinking probably 20, maybe more.

I think taking the opinion of someone who works for ESPN as something serious is a problem anyway. Most of their NBA folks on tv are kind of douchey morons. (Baseball too - but that's an entirely different story). Read the article comparing Danny Granger and Kobe Bryant for instance.

Anyway - the problem as I see it is one of perception, and it's not just broadcasters, it's the leagues, it's the refs. If you aren't perceived as a number one you aren't going to get the calls down the stretch that a preceived number one is going to get. Whine about it. Bitch about it. Do it all you want, but it won't change the fact that the NBA is a star driven league and the stars get the calls in the playoffs, and the number ones are seen as stars. If the perception is that the sixers don't have a number one, rightly or wrongly, it's going to hurt them come playoff time, rightly or wrongly.

I'm not saying I agree with it - to be clear - I'm just saying it is a fact.

The comparisons coming into the league for Iguodala were primarily (upside wise) Scottie Pippen - considered a great player but he was never really considered a number one either. If Iguodala could achieve that kind of recognition league wide it would be great. The playoffs will help immensely - dude spent the majority of his career in the shadow of other players - if the sixers can make a good showing in the playoffs - it'll be because of Iguodala and Iguodala will get the recognition.

Of course there's also the expectation game - when a guy enters the league - Iguodala wasn't expected to be a number one so now he won't be allowed to be one until he goes above and beyond to earn it.

Like I said - I don't think it matters in general except that come playoff time - it matters to the refs

Real and Speightacular reply to John on Apr 5 at 13:23

Good stuff.

Iggy's starting to get the benefit of the doubt from refs. LeBron averages .468 free throw attempts per field goal attempt, Iguodala averages .441 free throw attempts per field goal attempt. They also average about the same percentage of jumpers: 63% and 64%.

Yes, I don't see Boozer and Gasol on that list at all. Manu's a supreme talent and who knows how great he would be on a team where he wasn't the third option, but check his stats.

Anyway, yeah, it's true, on a lot of teams Iguodala would indeed be the best all-around talent. So you can call him a franchise player if you like. But at the same time, there are not that many teams on which he would be the No. 1 option, and the fact that he is the No. 1 option on ours is one of the major causes of the mediocrity of our offense. In order for us to win a title with him as our No. 1 option, we'd have to play absurdly good defense. In order for us, right now, to match the point differential of Cleveland, we'd have to give up just 89 a game - which would be best in the league by 2 points. I can't imagine how we're going to get that much better defensively, so the improvement will have to come on offense, which means, among other things, that either Iguodala has to become a much better scorer, or Thad has to replace him as our No. 1 option and become one of the big-time scoring 3s in the game. Or Brand makes a stunning recovery.

Lee Rexwald on Apr 6 at 5:26

Even if we grant your assumption (Iggy is a top 10 player) you don't win a lot of championships with the 10th best player in the NBA as your key guy. Can AI2 be the man on a mediocre team? Yeah, of course, I doubt even Jon Barry would argue that.

Can he be the man on a team that can seriously compete for a title?

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