Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/07/12 12:01 pm EST

For a team that is one win away from upsetting the number one seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2012 NBA playoffs, our 76ers have flown very far under the radar for the bulk of the season.  Aside from a hot start and a stint at the top of ESPN’s power rankings, which had some people buzzing about the budding team, conversation about the Sixers on a national scale has been stifled to say the least. 

The lack of national attention surrounding the squad isn’t completely surprising as the team’s current lineup, void of any superstars, lacks the sexy story lines found with star-studded teams such as Miami, Dallas or Los Angeles.  The Sixers as a team however seem to be fine without having the spotlight shining squarely on the Wells Fargo Center, and as we all know, Philadelphia loves the underdog approach.

The lack of overall attention paid to the team throughout the year is one thing, but the lack of respect paid to Andre Iguodala in this year’s Defensive Player of the Year voting is almost tragic. 

Did you know that Iguodala finished seventh in the DPOY voting?  Dre placed behind an aged Kevin Garnett and Tony Allen — a one-dimensional player defensively.  That’s absolutely ridiculous, as a strong case could be made for Iguodala to win the award. 

Dre has served as the defensive anchor for a top three defense, while not having the benefit of a premier post player (read: shot blocker) behind him.  Iguodala has the ability to defend multiple positions, and is arguably the most versatile defensive player in the League behind LeBron James, who finished above Iguodala on the list.  Dre’s ability to defend virtually anyone on the perimeter makes him invaluable to the Sixers on the defensive side of the ball.  Andre held opposing small forwards to a PER of 8.7, slightly above half of the League average, while often switching to guard an opponents’ best player at another position.  Although not quite as effective in those other spots, Iguodala would routinely switch onto opponent’s points, shooting guards, and even power forwards at times, meaning that he can virtually cover all four positions; an extremely rare feat in today’s athletically superior Association.

Not only didn’t Andre have the benefit of a menacing big looming behind him he was also flanked by one mediocre defender along side of him in the starting lineup in Jodie Meeks, often leaving him alone to pick up the slack or forcing him to cover for Jodie’s mistakes.

Tyson Chandler altered the entire landscape of the Knicks previously offensive-minded approach to the game, allowing them to compete amongst the East’s elite, and is definitely deserving of the hardware, as everyone on the list is worthy of the recognition.  Unfortunately the overall lack of attention the Sixers received this season may have hurt Andre in this regard, because based on his defensive ability and overall import to his team on that end of the ball he could have easily been this year’s DPOY.  While any recognition is nice, the League’s most talented perimeter defender sitting at seventh on the list isn’t just an oversight, it’s a crime. 

Dre’s defensive assets deserve more respect.


11 Responses to “NO RESPECT FOR DRE”

  1. Vern L
    7. May 2012 at 12:52

    I totally agree with the author on this article.
    Its a down right shame. The Rodney Dangerfield of the League.

  2. pete
    7. May 2012 at 13:25

    Totally agreed. He is hands down the best perimeter defender in the NBA. The elite scorers in the league rarely have an efficient night against him, with the exception of LeBron James, and that’s only because he is the best player in the known universe. But it’s all good. Regular season awards in all the major American sports are nonsense anyway. They rarely are given to those deserving and the people voting clearly don’t watch the games. Hopefully ET and Jrue become stars in the next couple years and Iggy gets his proper due on the defensive end. I really hope we keep the HIT Squad together. Can you guys imagine if we had a shot-blocking/rebounding big? We’d give up 80 pts/game.

  3. Salis
    7. May 2012 at 14:23

    He’s a great defender the best wing defender in the game…But he cant shoot so he gotta go….

  4. RYN_JAY
    7. May 2012 at 16:08

    I couldn’t agree more.

  5. RYN_JAY
    7. May 2012 at 16:09

    ^^^not about the comment….the article.

  6. Sean
    7. May 2012 at 17:22

    I agree that Iguodala should have finished as high as second in the voting. I’d have put him behind LeBron, personally. But then again, the guys he finished behind, with the exception of Ibaka (who blocks a crapton of shots which covers up his many defensive deficiencies) all have arguments as his equal. I’d also argue that Iguodala received a fair bit of recognition early on, the best player on an overachieving team that even received an all-star berth.

    One thing I will disagree with though is the whole premier post player/shot blocker thing. Elton Brand played less than 29 minutes per game but fell only a half a block short of 2nd in the league in blocks per game (he was 13th overall with 1.62). Brand was also an excellent post defender throughout the season – Tom Haberstroh thought he should be a DPOY candidate. I don’t completely agree with the DPOY sentiment due to his deficiencies defending the p-and-r, but his post defense was superb.

  7. Hoops
    7. May 2012 at 18:08

    I agree with the article’s author in that Iggy deserves far more respect than he receives. On this very site he, oddly given the sediment reflected above, is often disrespected in rapid reacts when he is given a poor grade in following a game in which his defense was its usual A level (perhaps it should be called rapid offensive statistics commentary). In addition to defending at an all-world level, he has become a serviceable 3 point shooter, remains an above average facilitator and, occasionally, morphs into an offensive force. Iggy is a top 20 player in the association.

  8. Salis
    8. May 2012 at 12:52

    Are you serious?? Top 20 player stop it!!!!!!!

  9. Pat
    8. May 2012 at 13:50

    Sixers will get swept next round, regardless. “Top Seeded Bulls Team” should have an asteriks. No way we come close with Derrick Rose on the floor.

  10. Brian
    8. May 2012 at 15:58

    Pat, while I agree that if the Bulls were at full health we would probably lose the series in 5 or maybe 6. Is it the Sixers fault that Rose and Noah got injured??? Nope, I think the Sixers will be very competitive in the next series against the C’s. Extending it to 6 or 7 and possibly winning it. Remember the Sixers drilled them twice at the Well… First things first, the Sixers must close out the series tonight or Thursday. Step on their throats now in Game 5, DON’T LET THE BULLS GET SOME CONFIDENCE… Let’s Go Sixers!!!

  11. Hoops
    8. May 2012 at 17:26

    Yes, I am
    He is not the worst player on the roster. Additionally, Iggy rarely misses a game.

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