Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Scourge of Iguodala's Defenders Attack The Castle

Hey, want to read me get positively skewered in such a way that I'm left with on option but to scream, "Yeah, well you boo Santa!"and run away like a small girl?

I give you, Mr. Jon Burkett, of Passion and Pride.

I got worked over by a MVN guy. Yes, it was one of their better ones, but still. I got worked over by a platform that just recently started using pictures and often resembles what my high school paper would look like online. Following a terrible day at the Clark Kent gig, this has not been one one my banner days.

I was really hoping the Iguodala piece would go unnoticed as yet another piece of my anti-gunner snark, and I'd be allowed to slip away quietly into the night.

No dice.

Why did I know it would be unfortunate for me if someone were to take a closer look at it? Numbers, friend. Numbers. See, usually when I have a perception of a player it's rooted in intuition based on perception, then reinforced by the numbers. But when I started looking at Iggy's line, a strange thing occurred. My eyes bugged out of my skull. 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and only 2.6 turnovers? Who the hell is this guy and what did he do with the turnover machine I knew for most of the season? Now, to be sure, I have some responses as to my obvious dislike of Iguodala's contract demands. But even I knew that in the offseason, it's tremendously difficult to argue against numbers. And the more I looked at his body of work, I started asking other bloggers. "Did you know he had 5.4 rebounds last game?" "Hey, did you know Iggy only averaged 2.6 turnovers?" And by and large, many of them were surprised. Except for Watson. Because Watson's never stunned by anything in the Eastern conference. The man bleeds Eastern Conference tweener stats.

Andre Iguodala is probably better than I think he is. I tend to have a thing against undersized guard forwards that shoot a lot, comparatively (Iggy's 9th among Guard/Forwards in FGA last season and I'd take any of the guys above him except Vince Carter, on account of douchenitis and Stephen Jackson, on account of being completely insane. And yes, I'd take Josh Howard in a heartbeat.). It's a personal preference, and that doesn't necessarily mean that Iguodala isn't worth a big contract.

Now, his turnovers do tend to come in bunches. He'll have zero turnovers one night and then six the next. This is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your opinion. But even then, he did manage the ball better than average. So even though he does shoot a little often, and can bleed the ball some nights, and got completely and utterly wiped off the map in the playoffs, sure, he can be a powerful offensive option.

But seriously, 6 years, $75Million? More than Deng? More than Ellis? More than Okafor? All of these guys? $12.5? I mean, if you want to argue that he scores more? Sure. But lightning fast combo guards don't grow on trees. Guys that can rebound and block shots are in high demand, low supply. Deng's an all around player that contributes all over the floor. It's not that Iguodala doesn't do what he does well. It's that I tend to minimalize guys who are primary scorers. And for all the talk of 15.6 shots not being a lot? It's a lot for his position. If you move him to the two guard? Okay, then yeah, he's not shooting as much. It'sll just be interesting to see if he can be as efficient at the two guard as he needs to be, because that's the key in this league. Finding two guards that can put numbers on a scoreboard isn't hard. Finding guys who can do it efficiently is another.

Of course, yet again, the numbers fail this argument completely. Iggy's PER? 19.05, right behind Josh Smith and ahead of Monta Ellis. So it looks like he's as efficient as he needs to be.

I still maintain that the Sixers would be better off not giving him 6 years, $75 million. I understand that the Philly fans want him back, but get him back at a price that's reasonable and not going to be devastating if, God forbid, he doesn't improve. I'm not for big, long term contracts in general, except for central position players for desperate franchises and superstar talents. But after hearing Jon out and looking at then numbers, I'm willing to go with him. Ed Stefanski will pay him what he's worth. And in the future, I'll try and keep a closer eye on what exactly Iggy is.

Man. Ben Gordon, Andre Iguodala. People are really defensive of turnover prone shooting guards, aren't they?

Well played, Jon. Thanks to you I'm going to catch never ending hell from Corn, another Iggy-fiend. I'll get you next time. You and your little Iggy, too!

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