Last night, I watched the Denver Nuggets narrowly defeat the Golden State Warriors in the Pepsi Center in order to extend their first round series to a sixth game. Naturally, I found the Warriors play through the first four games of the series refreshing and thrilling. But, in Game 6, the Nuggets morphed into the Pistons of the “Bad Boys” era with a touch of pop and pizazz and secured a win. The player who pushed the Nuggets to the win last night was former Sixer Andre Iguodala.
The once heir apparent to Allen Iverson, Iguodala dropped a line of 25 points, 12 boards and 7 assists in 40 minutes of play on 10-17 shooting from the field. On the series, Iguodala is averaging 16.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 53.4 percent from the floor in 40.2 minutes per (Those stats are much improved over his regular season numbers of 13, 5 & 5 and 45% shooting from the field).
With his playoff averages, Iguodala would have ranked second on the Sixers in points, tied-second in rebounds, second in assists, second in field goal percentage and first in minutes during the regular season. And, the dude is doing this in the playoffs no less against a stingy defensive team in the Dubs.
Regardless, I still say the Philadelphia 76ers are better off with Iguodala elsewhere.
Sure, he can go on hot streaks where he puts up insane Lebron-like numbers for a five-game stretch. He’s definitely a top-10 perimeter defender in the NBA. He can knock down open threes when he steps into them and doesn’t fade away. But, he’s paid $15 million and Andre Miller is Denver’s closer.
Ask George Karl, and if he were to answer candidly, I’m sure he may even say that Ty Lawson is also a more viable option as a closer than Iguodala as well. What about Danilo Gallinari? He might be too.
The fact of the matter is that the Denver Nuggets have been in the playoffs for 10-straight years. That streak is good for second in the entire Association behind only the San Antonio Spurs.
Denver is an organization that has reached a Western Conference Finals just four years ago, an organization that can afford to pay a super-role player superstar money because he’s surrounded by a plethora of above-average role players.
In Philadelphia, Iguodala would have been the “star” among a crop of below-average NBA players. He and Jrue Holiday would have bumped heads with each other and Doug Collins on a daily basis that most likely would have led to Collins’ resignation in February. Keeping Iguodala on the Sixers wouldn’t have made them a 57-win team and a top-3 seed in a conference like the Nuggets.
So, to all of you that are complaining about the Nuggets’ success with Iguodala and that the Sixers shouldn’t have given up on him: stop.
His time in Philly was done. And the 76ers are better off for letting him go.