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How Good is Andre Iguodala?

Andre Iguodala is overrated. Andre Iguodala is overpaid. Andre Iguodala sucks. As Sixers fans, we hear a combination of these claims on a regular basis, and more often than not the most inflammatory statements come from Sixers fans themselves. The consensus is, because Andre doesn't score 20+ points per game, or employ a high success rate on "clutch shots", he cannot be considered a great player, and he's certainly not worth his contract.

Many brave Iguodala apologists have attempted to fend off the hoard of haters by reminding them that – despite what ESPN says – being a great basketball player goes beyond simply scoring 20 points. A bundle of advanced statistics have been brought up, along with intangible evidence that – although rarely accredited – Andre is indeed one of, if not the best perimeter defender in the NBA. 

Up to this point, all Iguodala apologists have been shunned, but thanks to this brilliant collection of facts and figures put together by Brian at Depressed Fan, a breakthrough may be on the horizon.

Brian explains Iguodala's Victim List (self-explanatory), examines the defensive metrics provided by Synergy Sports – where Iguodala ranks near the top in every defensive category (among wing players) – and drops fun factoids like "Only once has someone scored more than 25 on [Iguodala], (his first game back from his achilles injury Danny Granger did it)." All in all, a convincing argument is made that Iguodala deserves a spot on the All-NBA Defensive team, along with consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.

To many of us, these revelations come as no surprise. If you've seen a significant number of Iguodala's games you know he's an all-world defender. But Brian did what needed to be done, and attached concrete numbers to Iguodala's defense for the whole world to see, and hopefully appreciate. Even if you've seen Iguodala play, and know he's a great defender, seeing the numbers takes the appreciation to an entirely different level.

Since Brian did such a great job documenting the greatness that is Iguodala's defense I thought this was a perfect opportunity to drop a few more statistical nuggets chronicling other under-appreciated aspects of Iguodala's game.

  1. With a 3.35 Assist:Turnover ratio, Iguodala ranks fifth behind only Jose Calderon, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and DJ Augistin in 2010-2011.
  2. Iguodala ranks fourth among non-point guards in AST%, behind LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.*
  3. Iguodala ranks 37th overall, and 12th among non-power forwards/centers in DRB%.*
  4. There are a total of four NBA players who average 14+ points with a usage rate of 19% or lower: Joakim NoahDanilo Gallinari, Nene Hilario, and Andre Iguodala.
* Played at least 1,500 minutes.

Elite defender, efficient playmaker, plus-rebounder, offensively and defensively versatile, and top 30 NBA player are all ways you could describe Andre Iguodala, the player. He's only a slightly above average scorer, but if he was an elite scorer he'd be LeBron James. He never carries the team offensively, but he ensures the opponent's go-to scorer doesn't either. He's not a superstar, but he's a damn great player and it's about time someone took notice.

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