For much of the season, it appeared as though Andre Iguodala was finally on the decline and lost a step in his game.
His overall usage rate was dead last on the team at just 11.5%. He posted a true shooting percentage that was bottom five on the team at 53.6%, compared to the 62.3% he posted during the 2016-2017 season and 55.4% average for his career.
Iguodala shot just 28.2% from 3-point range for the year compared to 36.2% last year and 33.3% for his career. Looking at his home road split, he shot 49% from the field at home vs just 43% on the road. His home road split for three point percentage was 37% at home vs just 23% on the road.
Just looking at a few of his stats, his shooting was down considerably and there was a clear drop off from his offense at Oracle compared to away. Was Iguodala at a crossroad in his career where we finally started to see a decline, or was he just playing us all a fool?
Turns out that Andre Iguodala was just saving himself for the postseason.
When the game one lineup was announced, Steve Kerr adjusted his starting lineup so that Andre Iguodala would get the start as the de facto point guard. We have seen Kerr do this before as he used Iguodala in interesting ways in the postseason. In the 2015 NBA Finals, Kerr decided to make a change to the starting lineup by pulling Andrew Bogut and inserting Iguodala.
The Golden State Warriors were able to turn up the pace with a smaller lineup as they introduced the “Death lineup.” Now this year, with Stephen Curry sidelined due to an MCL injury, Kerr has been forced to think outside of the box again. Even with Quinn Cook turning heads, Kerr decided it was not fair to put the pressure on Cook to be the starting point guard.
It almost feels as though the mutual agreement that Kerr and Iguodala reached was that when Iguodala was moved to the bench a few seasons back, that Kerr would fully unleash Iguodala’s potential in the postseason and use him as the team’s ultimate secret weapon. We have seen Iguodala run as a point forward but often with the second unit or with Curry on the floor.
Ultimately the decision to insert Iguodala into the starting lineup was to create the most dynamic lineup to attack the Spurs early and often. So far, this decision has paid off extremely well. Although a small sample size of just two games, he is shooting a mind boggling 71.4% from three-point range (5-of-7)!
Compare that to the paltry 28% he posted for the entire regular season and that number jumps out even more. With a pep in his step, he has this offense humming and all is right with the world again (well at least on the basketball court).
Running the fastbreak
Iguodala has looked re-energized on the court. On this play he grabs the defensive board and starts the fastbreak. He threads a pass between Lamarcus Aldridge and Manu Ginobili for an easy slam by JaVale McGee.
Back in his Sixers days, Iguodala had quite the flash in his game with his ability to get up and finish at the rim. Not all of that has disappeared in Golden State, but we don’t see it nearly as frequent. When he does flash his vertical, it is a sight to see. He may be a veteran, but man can that guy dunk.
Here we see the Draymond Green to Andre Iguodala connection otherwise known as Dray(dre)-day.
It will be interesting to see how playoff Igoudala translates on the road as there was s significant drop off in his game during the regular season in the home-road split.
The ultimate secret weapon which we all have been fooled by is that Steve Kerr was hiding Andre Iguodala until the postseason where he finally decided to unleash him. It has become a tradition unlike any other.
[All stats were pulled from basketball-reference.com]