What's the matter with Andre Iguodala?
It might just stem from that historic play from game seven of the 2016 Finals and the shockwaves that LeBron's block sent around the world, but Andre Iguodala hasn't seemed to have shaken it off. Since that play the number of layups that Andre passes up is cringe worthy, and may become detrimental come playoff time.
Don’t get it wrong, Andre still is an elite passer. He has eyes in the back of his head, as he showed in the game against the Clippers, getting Zaza Pachulia on a fast break dunk (that he made!). He shows the same high IQ on defense too, using his memory bank to remember how to defend a variety of different players, having been tasked to guard Curry, KD, and LeBron throughout his playoff career.
Part of what has taken Andre out of an offensive rhythm has been his role on the team. The past three seasons, all of which he’s come off the bench, have been his lowest scoring years yet. In fact, this year he’s hit career low numbers in points per game (5.6), field goal percentage (42.7%) and three point shooting (23.1%).
It’s hard to tell which of those stats is responsible for the others though. Does the number of points Iguodala is expected to score affect his ability to catch a shooting flow, or does his lack of shooting flow keep him from scoring efficiently? That’s something we’ll probably never know as ambiguous as Iguodala can be, just look at some of his thoughts on his slump from Wednesday's practice before facing the Clippers.
It may just be that his free throw numbers are at a below average 63.1%, and defenders are often looking to foul him at the rim. An Iguodala dunk often feels as special as a Curry 25-footer, and the fans have expected that aggressiveness since he signed with the team in 2014. Ironically, Andre often gets so open on dunks because defenders expect him to pass the rock. Patrick McCaw, on the other hand, has come out the last few games with explosive and aggressive takes to the rim that he’s started not to overthink.
Where all of these offensive woes could end up hurting the team is come playoff time. While the pace rarely slows down when the Dubs play, opponents will play harder on defense, and smarter as they come more accustomed to playing the Warriors. One of the ways teams could end up guarding Golden State is to double off of shooters, and when Iguodala and Draymond are on the floor together, teams will have two players to help off of from the perimeter. What the Warriors' hope (and belief) is, is that Andre will lock in towards the end of the year. It seems to be a yearly tradition at this point, as he’ll put up 15 and 8 in a few of the last games of the season.
Though even I would say Iguodala regressing to unplayable in big minutes is unlikely, his contract could come into play when the team determines their future. After days of negotiation, and a free agent meeting with the Kings, Andre was able to secure the bag with a 3 year, $48 million deal. With prospects like McCaw and Bell coming up the pike with short deals (being second round picks) the Warriors may want to explore their options with Iguodala’s contract.
While I doubt that Andre will be moved come the trade deadline, things may get interesting in the summer. But come April and June, it should become a lot more clear whether Andre can still contribute when it counts the most for this team, and it may just determine his fate.