Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Andre Iguodala

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Andre Iguodala. Sure, you know about him from the Dunk Contest last year, but that's just a small part. Don't look now, but he's been downright studly ever since the trade of Allen Iverson.

I'll go into depth in a minute, but first this video from last year's dunk contest, along with a quote from Charles Barkley that summed up Iguodala's first 2 years in the NBA:

To recap the video, here's the conversation that took place:

Kenny: I never understood this... why would you use Allen Iverson to pass you the ball in a dunk contest?
Charles: It's a subliminal message... like when I gave Kenny those Altoids.

Allen Iverson is my favorite player in the NBA, but let's be honest, with him and Webber in the mix, Iguodala didn't have that many opportunities to create and score on his own, and that may have hampered his growth and potential as a young player a little bit. So in his young days he was just the best defensive player on the team from the moment he was drafted, a good finisher and good passer, but he didn't have the ball enough to score a lot of points.

Well, now he appears to be making up for lost time. In last night's game, Iguodala was the star for the Sixers in beating the Bobcats, with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Of course, this is becoming a pretty common thing for AI2. He has scored 19 or more points in his last 9 games, and has averaged 23.4 PPG over that span. After averaging just about 14 PPG in November (before the shakeup in Philly), he averaged 18.9 PPG in December, 18.2 in January, and 25 PPG so far in February. But it's not like scoring is all he's been doing.

In December and January combined he averaged around 5 RPG, about 5.5 APG, and over 2 SPG. So in addition to being a high percentage scorer and being able to get to the line, he also is a contributor on the glass, a very good passer, and the best defensive player on the team.

So have a look folks at a rising star, a supremely athletic player that is just learning how to really play on the offensive end, and so far with excellent results. Andre Iguodala, one of the most underrated players in the NBA.