Category Archives: Andre Iguodala
Last night’s game was a big test for the Philadelphia 76ers. They faced one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Sixers fell 109-103 in a game where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 62 points.
The Sixers were outscored in the first three quarters and were playing from behind the whole game.
Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 17 points, 11 assists, and 2 rebounds. Elton Brand added 17 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
The Sixers couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch in the fourth quarter. This game can be a stepping stone as they played some solid basketball against one of the NBA’s premiere teams.
An encouraging sign is the play of rookie first round pick Evan Turner. Turner had 15 points and 8 rebounds against the Thunder.
Andre Iguodala did not play last night but is likely to play on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.
**Louis Williams left the game with a left shoulder contusion and did not return.
It seemed like it would never happen.
But the Philadelphia 76ers have won their first game of the season, defeating the Indiana Pacers 101-75 last night.
Elton Brand led the Sixers with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Brand also added two blocks and a steal.
The bench was another big reason the Sixers were victorious. They combined for 41 points and really gave the team a huge boost.
Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala each added 11 points.
Pacers superstar forward Danny Granger was shut down by the Sixers stifling defense. Granger was 2-for-14 with only seven points on the night.
Josh McRoberts also added 10 points and four rebounds for the Pacers in the loss.
The Sixers led throughout the whole game and never looked back.
The Sixers will face the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
** Sixers head coach Doug Collins missed the entire second half as he is still suffering from vertigo after a fall at a Phoenix coffee shop in May.
Last Season: The Sixers are coming off an awful season in which they went 27-55 and finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. It was a trying season for Sixers fans and it became clear that changes had to be made. Following the season, Eddie Jordan was immediately fired. The Jordan firing was written on the wall and had been speculated since the halfway point of the season. It was a dark and dismal season, but there was a very encouraging sign. Rookie Jrue Holiday came in as a raw point guard needing to expand his skill set. Holiday played very well down the stretch and showed that he is the future at point guard for the Sixers. He averaged 8.0 points-per-game and 3.8 assists-per-game. Holiday is an effective floor general and should continue to improve in the 2010-2011 season.
Coaching Change: The Princeton offense is finally in the past. The Jordan firing left the organization with the task yet again of searching for a new head coach. The Sixers brass wanted an experienced coach that could work with this young group and improve their game. They decided to go with former Bulls coach and NBA analyst Doug Collins. Collins is a former four-time NBA All Star, so it’s clear that he understands every aspect of the game. He has vowed from the beginning that he aims to work very hard with swingman Andre Iguodala and try to take the superstar’s game to the next level. Collins seems to be very keen on defense and that is something that the Sixers need work on. He is a welcome change and brings a great attitude to the city of Philadelphia.
Key Arrivals: In a summer that was dominated by “The Big Three” in Miami, the Sixers weren’t very active in free agency. However they were quite active in the trade market. In an unexpected move, they shipped offensively-inept center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and veteran small forward Andres Nocioni.
Dalembert was a player that just never seemed to fit in Philadelphia. He is a tremendous rebounder and shot blocker but could never contribute on the offensive end. A change of scenery would do him good. On the other hand, Hawes is a nice pickup for the Sixers. While he is not the defensive standout that Dalembert was, he provides some much-needed offense from the center position. He is a 46.8 percent career shooter which is very respectable for a big man. Hawes will step back and attempt the occasional three and will hit some of those shots. Nocioni is a solid veteran pickup who can be an asset to the Sixers. Nocioni will be the sixth man off the bench this season. He can spell Iguodala and Thaddeus Young. He is a fairly solid shooter and can bring veteran leadership to the team.
The Sixers also acquired forwards Craig Brackins and Darius Songalia from the New Orleans Hornets for guard Willie Green and forward Jason Smith. It was basically a salary dump for the Hornets and they wanted a backup point guard for Chris Paul. The Sixers were able to add some size in the frontcourt. Brackins is a solid addition to the team. He was the 21st overall pick in the draft this season and was a star at Iowa State for three years. He has huge potential to be a good power forward in the NBA. If nothing else, he can be an admirable backup to Hawes.
Perhaps the biggest arrival was the drafting of Evan Turner with the second pick in the draft. This kid does it all. He scores, rebounds, and dishes out assists. He is a complete player and will be a breath of fresh air for Sixers fans. Turner averaged 20.4 points-per-game, six assists-per-game, and 9.2 rebounds-per-game in his junior season at Ohio State. Turner has the potential to be an absolute stud in the NBA. He could be a dark horse for rookie of the year. Turner paired with Iguodala could give the Sixers a high flying offense this season.
Season Prediction: 36-46 (3rd in Atlantic Division)
The Sixers aren’t quite ready to compete in the Eastern Conference. Doug Collins will bring a new attitude to the Sixers and should have them playing hard. The Sixers could be a young and exciting team this year. Turner will bring more fans out to the arena and should give Sixers fans something to look forward too. They are a few years away from contending but Collins should have the Sixers moving in the right direction.
He may not be the same Answer he was in his first stint as a Sixer but Allen Iverson proved he is still a right answer for the Sixers. Since being signed by the Sixers and making his debut in early December versus the Nuggets, Iverson has been a huge addition to a Sixers team searching for answers (pun not intended).
The Sixers are 12-16 since Iverson’s first game. He missed six of those games. They were previously 5-15 and Iverson’s presence and veteran-ship has definitely had a positive affect on Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, and rookie Jrue Holiday.
Iverson has been averaging over 32 minutes a game in his 22 games and starts this season with Philly. Though he is going through back and knee trouble, he has been a constant help in his return. He’s averaging just under 15 PPG, exactly what I expected. He still loves to control the ball but instead of driving the lane and getting the job done by himself, he keeps the ball moving and sets up the plays. In his 22 games, he hit the 20-point mark six times, and recorded a season high 23 points versus Kobe Bryant and the Lakers this past week.
Iverson’s health is the only thing the Sixers are worried about with Iverson. They recently gave him another rest last night versus Chicago because of his child’s illness but it can be assumed that he also used the break to rest his knees. At 34, Iverson’s style of play has taken a huge toll on his body.
Iverson’s contract is up at the end of the season. The Sixers NEED to sign him back and make sure he retires a Sixers. He is the reason people will come to the games. He has also proven he can still contribute and be a positive contributor to this team.
Could Iguodala be dealt?
As many of you know, I’m not the biggest Sixer fan, but I like to see them succeed and hope they win. Seeing the Sixers in this constant decline (or just stagnation), missing the playoffs or losing in the first round does not make Sixer Nation very happy. They have only won one playoff series since making it to the NBA Finals (in 2003 vs. New Orleans). You can blame whoever, management, coaching, players, but that doesn’t change the current state of the team. GM Ed Stefanski was brought in from New Jersey to turn around the franchise, but despite his efforts, the team is currently 16-31, 8 games behind the 8th place Heat.
So what should the Sixers do? I’m hardly the expert, but if the team has to experience a few rough years before becoming a contender, then so be it. With a bunch of rumors floating around about Tracy McGrady (and his expiring contract) and Amare Stoudamire, could one of those guys help the team? If the Sixers had to trade for one of the two, long term, McGrady would be the better option. By trading for McGrady, the team would have to move considerable salary under league rules, and when McGrady’s contract expires, it will clear up some room next season. If Stefanski is looking short term, Stoudamire, an all-star, would be the better option, helping the team right away. However, Stoudamire wouldn’t put the team deep into the playoffs, so making the playoffs, losing in the first round and drafting in the middle of the first round (again) wouldn’t help the team.
The only way teams improve in the NBA is by signing a huge profile free agent or drafting in the top 5. And for the record, I would not consider Elton Brand a huge profile free agent. Part of rebuilding is by using available money correctly, not overpaying. One of the other problems with the Sixers is that they have a bunch of similar type players; good or decent individuals, but as a team, not so much. Part of that is the result of continuous drafting between 10 and 20 every year.
The days leading up to February 19th could be interesting as they could possibly shape the track of their future. Could we see the last of Andre Iguodala and Sammy Dalembert as Sixers soon?