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Andre Iguodala

The Final Piece: Golden State Warriors Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Stephen Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Andre Iguodala, PF David Lee, C Andrew Bogut
Key Bench Players: SF Harrison Barnes, G Toney Douglas, F Draymond Green, PF Mareese Speights, C Festus Ezeli, C Jermaine O’Neal
Offseason Additions: Andre Iguodala, Toney Douglas, Jermaine O’Neal
Offseason Subtractions: PG Jarrett Jack, PF Carl Landry, C Andris Biedrins, SF Richard Jefferson, SG Brandon Rush,
FACT OR FICTION: The final piece to the Warriors’ championship puzzle was Andre Iguodala. 
FACT. But his simple addition doesn’t make them into a title contender. If that makes any sense.
So why then would our glorious FACT OR FICTION breed such a strong statement? Because with Iguodala, the Warriors have found a perfect fit for their style of play, not to mention plug some holes in their very obviously weaknesses.
Offensively, it’s not exactly three-dimensional chess here: AI is a nightmare in transition, whether he’s starting the break with his killer handle and passing, or finishing with deadly propulsive efficiency. He’s just as effective in the half court set, creating plays from the elbow or wing, as well as setting up as a willing streak shooter. He’s now just another weapon that diversifies an already dynamic Golden State scoring blitzkrieg, which also harbors young developing stars like Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Iguodala will be key with them as well, taking up the slack on both ends of the floor which effectively buys Golden State time while those two blue chippers blossom from the delicate flower buds they are into a full blown bouquet of basketball dominance.… Read more...

Deconstructing a 57-win team: Denver Nuggets Season Preview

Starting five: PG Tywon Lawson, SG Evan Fournier, SF Wilson Chandler, PF Kenneth Faried, C JaVale McGee
Key bench contributors: PG Andre Miller, SG Randy Foye, PG Nate Robinson, PF Darrell Arthur, SF Danilo Gallinari (expected back in December-February from a torn ACL), PF JJ Hickson
Offseason additions: JJ Hickson, Darrell Arthur, Nate Robinson, coach Brian Shaw
Offseason subtractions: Coach George Karl, SF Andre Iguodala, SF Corey Brewer, C Kosta Koufos
FACT OR FICTION: Did the Denver Nuggets spend the offseason dealing themselves out of the playoffs?

FICTION. Without one single All-Star player, the Denver Nuggets (literally) ran through the rest of the NBA last season. George Karl’s squad nabbed the third-best record in the Western Conference, winning a remarkable 57 games–just one less than the seconds-away-from-a-title San Antonio Spurs. They finished with the NBA’s fifth most efficient offense, ran the second fastest pace and racked up a deceivingly good 11th ranked defense.
But it all started and ended for the Nuggs on the run, as they were terrors on the fast break, destroying teams with run and gun specialists like Tywon Lawson, Corey Brewer, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and a sneaky set-up maestro in Andre Miller. They compounded this offensive attack with the league’s best offensive rebounding and started it all with fantastic rim protection from Kosta Koufos, JaVale McGee and Faried. Still, the Nuggets featured two facets of their basketball identities that absolutely belied their excellent record. Surprisingly, they were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA last season (.343%, good for 25th) and yet, they still sent opposing defenses scrambling. And yet, despite the facade of a reckless scoring avalanche, they were actually one of the most careful teams in basketball–only three teams in the league turned the ball over less. It’s for all those reasons just stated that the Nuggets were such a strange anomaly in the NBA last year: a fast paced team that couldn’t shoot three pointers well, never turned the ball over, didn’t have a single dominant scorer and lacked a post scorer whose hair didn’t look like a newborn baby’s.
Perhaps for those reasons, and many more, it was so easy for ownership to almost completely reshape the face of the Nuggets this offseason. In a matter of weeks, Denver had allowed the newly minted Executive of the Year, General Manager Masai Ujiri to take a job with the Toronto Raptors and had fired newly crowned Coach of the Year, George Karl. With a new front office regime in place, two starters were traded (Koufos to Memphis for Darrell Arthur and Iguodala sign-and-traded to Golden State) and the bench was almost completely turned over. New hires like Nate Robinson, Randy Foye and JJ Hickson were brought in to try and recreate some of last year’s reserve’s offensive energy that they no longer will have with Corey Brewer gone to the Minnesota Timberwolves and both JaVale McGee and Wilson Chandler elevated to a starting roles. Coach Brian Shaw was finally given his shot at running a team and is almost certain to slow things down from the break neck speed Karl operated his squad at last year.… Read more...

(Not So Instant) Trade Analysis: Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors and the Jazz dumping salary

Golden State Warriors get: SF Andre Iguodala (four years, $48 million)
Utah Jazz get: SF Richard Jefferson, C Andris Biedrins , G/F Brandon Rush, 2014 and 2017 unprotected first round pick (from GS), 2018 second round pick (from Denver), cash
Denver Nuggets get: G Randy Foye (three years, $9 million)
Atlanta Hawks get: PF Paul Millsap (two years, $19 million, via free agency)
Charlotte Bobcats get: PF/C Al Jefferson (three years, $41 million, via free agency)
If the two unprotected first rounders didn’t suggest it, the Warriors are in “win-now” mode. Duh.
The Warriors are going all-in with their current team after just their second winning season in almost twenty years. In a three team deal, the Warriors sent Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush (almost $24 million in salary for next season!) to the Utah Jazz, with Andre Iguodala coming to the Warriors and Randy Foye going to the Jazz, along with two unprotected first round picks. In two separate transactions, former Utah Jazz big men Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson will leave unencumbered from Salt Lake City, heading to the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats, respectively.
The Dubs will pay $39 million to just Stephen Curry, David Lee and Iguodala next year, without figuring in $9 million to Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, as well as $14 million to center Andrew Bogut. The roster is capped out for the foreseeable future, especially when taking into considering at Thompson will most likely sign a eight figure extension in the next year or so, and Barnes doing the same the year afterwards. … Read more...

How Good is Andre Iguodala? – Denver Nuggets Preview

Starting Five: PG Ty Lawson, SG Andre Iguodala, SF Danilo Gallinari, PF Kenneth Faried, C Javale McGee

Key Bench Players: PG Andre Miller, SF Wilson Chandler, C Kostas Koufas, C Timofey Mozgov, F Anthony Randolph

Notable offseason additions: SG Andre Igoudala, SG Evan Fournier (1st round draft pick), F Quincy Miller (2nd round draft pick), F Anthony Randolph

Offseason subtractions: SG Arron Afflalo, F Al Harrington, SG Rudy Fernandez, F Chris “Birdman” Anderson (via the Amnesty)

The biggest move of the NBA offseason saw C Dwight Howard finally relocate from Disney World to Disney Land.  A little talked about wrinkle in that trade was that the Denver Nuggets sent out forgettable players F Al Harrington and G Arron Afflalo (and I love you Al, will never forget the 21/5 you dropped in D’Antoni’s first year in the Mecca) and got back Olympian and NBA All-Star Andre Igoudala.  Hash tag NOT BAD!

No need to delve into how a team can send out a good but overpaid 2-guard and a forward who loves nothing more than to chuck 3’s and get back one of the 12 best Americans in the world, a 6’6″ perimeter beast who can defend any shooting guard or small forward and can run the offense too.  This is the NBA we live in and have grown accustomed to.  What we will delve into is what is the ceiling for this Nuggets squad, just two years after trading “franchise player” Carmelo Anthony (yeah, it’s in quotes for a reason), the Nuggets look poised to be a helluva lot better than Melo’s new team, the hapless New York Knickerbockers.

In last year’s playoffs, a young Denver team had the Lakers on the brink of elimination in round 1, leading 3-2 before ultimately losing in 7 games.  “Little Engine that Could” Ty Lawson pushes the team at a breakneck pace, and he may be the fastest guy in the League with the ball in his hands.  Last year’s rookie sensation Kenneth Faried, nicknamed the “Manimal” because of his freakish athletic ability, plays as hard and as hungry as anybody in the League.  The fastest guy and the hardest worker, on the same squad.  But wait, there’s more.

Is this the year tantalizing Italian Danillo Gallinari puts together an All-Star campaign?  The 6’10” small forward who Mike D’Antoni once labeled “the best shooter I’ve ever seen” put up a solid 17 and 5 last year before hurting his ankle.  Gallo will be 24 years old this season, but already has been in the NBA for four years and has solid career averages of 14 points and 5 rebounds.  Will the other former Knick small forward Wilson Chandler finally stay healthy?  He was a non-factor after returning from China last season due to injury, but when healthy Chandler is a defensive menace who flies under the radar.

We haven’t even got to the Bigs yet, and if we’re talking about the Denver Bigs we have to start with Pierre.  Who is Pierre?  Apparently, it’s the name of JaVale McGee’s alter ego.  In one sentence, that sums up JaVale McGee.  Talented big who is prone to immaturity and goofiness, does McGee have the focus to contribute over an entier season?  Is Russian Timofey Mozgov anything other than the guy Blake dunked on?  How about Anthony Randolph, the uber-talented 7-footer who oh-so-badly wants to play point guard and “do his thing”.

A lot of questions surround the young’uns on this squad, but the fact remains: this is a young team with some blue-chip prospects and a whole lot of tale… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Dwight Howard to the Los Angles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers get: C Dwight Howard, PG Chris Duhon, SF Earl Clark
Orlando Magic get: PF Moe Harkless, C Nikola Vucevic (from Philadelphia), F Al Harrigton, SG Arron Afflalo (from Denver), 3 1st round picks (from Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles), 2 2nd round picks
Philadelphia 76ers get: C Andrew Bynum (from Los Angeles), SF Jason Richardson (from Orlando)
Denver Nuggets get: F Andre Iguodala (from Philadelphia)
In a trade that had become so apparent that it eventually became surprising again, the Orlando Magic have finally traded Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal that immediately changes the face of each franchise.
To break this mammoth deal down, let’s go city-by-city:… Read more...

Why do the 76ers have the 4th-best Win % in the NBA?

I know a lot about the NBA. Too much, some would say. I know that Brandon Jennings of YOUR…Milwaukee Bucks shooting 44% this year is way higher than his career average. I know that Portland’s Luke Babbit was traded to the Timberwolves for Martell Webster in 2009. I know that Chandler Parsons of YOUR…Houston Rockets is an extremely versatile small forward, capable of shooting, passing and rebounding with equal proficiency.

YOUR…2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers have the 4th best winning percentage in the league. They only trail Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls and LeBron James’, Dwyane Wade’s and Chris Bosh’s Miami Heat. The red, white and blue juggernaut from eastern Pennsylvania is here, with perennial All-Stars Spencer Hawes, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks leading the way. Wait…who are these guys?

Collins in his playing days.

Somehow, some way, the Philadelphia 76ers are dominating one team after the next, with home wins over Indiana, Atlanta Orlando, Chicago and the Lakers, and roadies over Atlanta and Phoenix. They are doing this with newly-minted All-Star Andre Iguodala playing below his career averages offensively, and with Lou Williams as their leading scorer…at 15.5 points a game. Spencer Hawes leads the team in rebounds with 8.3 per contest, and Iguodala is the top assist man, at 5.2 a game…a half dime more than point guard Jrue Holiday. It’s a team filled with nobodies and has-beens. The starting lineup would make even the casual NBA fan shrug, and the program-director at ESPN turn the page faster than a WNBA Conference Final. The NBA has always been a league driven by the superstar, and rightfully so; it always seems that the barometer of a team’s success will thrive or wane at the whims of a LeBron, a Kobe, a Michael or a Magic. Without a superstar or even a certifiable All-Star, how are the Sixers doing this? In a nutshell, it’s because coach Doug Collins has gotten all of his players to play to the top of his limited potential.

Looking at their career averages, starters Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes and rotation players Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are all having the best seasons of their young professional lives. Only Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand (who hasn’t played at an All-Star level since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2007) are playing below established career numbers.

Digging deeper into who each individual player is, and what skill set he has, it’s easy to see that what these players all have in common. Coach Doug Collins has discovered what exactly each man on his squad does best, and has found a way to harness that particular talent.

For example, Jodie Meeks is a shooter and a scorer. During his time at a pre-Coach Calipari University of Kentucky, Meeks was the Wildcats’ number one offensive option. He was free to take the ball and shoot where he wanted – just like any talented college 2-guard. But in the NBA, defenses closed in on him, and at 6-4, Meeks found it more difficult to find his shot.

Doug Collins recognized Meeks’ strengths and shortcomings, and distilled what exactly would make him an effective NBA player. And what would make him an effective player, was to be the designated shooter from distance. Meeks routinely and lithely moves around the perimeter like a squirrel on a telephone wire, ready to catch and shoot passes from penetrators Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday. He leads the Sixers with 115 3-pointers attempted, which accounts for about 64% of h… Read more...