The box score said it all for Andre Iguodala and the Sixers.
At halftime of last night’s Sixers game, they were up by 26 points on the Indiana Pacers,and played their best half of the season. Andre Iguodala, by most accounts the Sixers best player, had played one of his best halves. For proof, all you had to do was look at the box score.
Iguodala took only two shots, but that was only half the story. Danny Granger, the Pacers leading scorer and Iguodala’s defensive assignment, shot 1-9.
The only time the Pacers threatened was in the middle of the third quarter. Not too surprisingly, it was during that run that Iguodala launched a three point shot that missed the rim completely, and a fade away jumper that barely caught the rim.
We’ve all heard talk that Iguodala shouldn’t be the first option on the team offensively, but it’s never been clearer than last night.
If the Sixers win games this year, it will be because every guy on the team fills his role, even if it’s not the role they’re accustomed to. Evan Turner has to learn to move without the ball and be effective that way. Elton Brand is going to have to play a lot of center, and defend guys 6 inches and 40 pounds bigger than he is. Lou Williams will have to come off the bench instead of starting. Marreese Speights and Spencer Hawes may have to, dare I say, rebound and defend.
Iguodala, as well, must fill his role. His value to this Sixers team, much like his value to the US team this summer, is as a defensive stopper. As an energy guy who can get to the rim and finish the fast break. Maybe it was an easier role to swallow on a team with Kevin Durant, Lamar Odon and Rudy Gay than it is here, but who his teammates are doesn’t change what he’s good at.
Andre Iguodala is a more valuable player scoring 12 points a game than 18. His points have to come from the free throw line and in the paint. Regardless of who his teammates are, it’s how he, and in this case the Sixers can be most successful.
There’s a chance Iguodala may get traded before season’s end. His role though, should stay the same. Whether Iguodala can accept that role is entirely up to him. Whether he sees as much value in being Ron Artest rather than Lebron James is his decision.