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Here is a link to my Thursday column about Andre Iguodala. The full text runs below:

OAKLAND — Andre Iguodala is killing the Warriors. Let’s not tiptoe around this sensitive topic or pretend Iguodala is doing fine. He is killing his team.

He’s not killing them as much as Blake Griffin or Chris Paul. We know that. But he’s a murderer in his own right. Murder in the first degree. If he doesn’t change, the Warriors could be lying stiff and cold in a grave. Real soon.

In two playoff games against the Clippers, he is averaging six points. You just want to die. In each game, he took six shots. Non-shooting centers — real stiffs — take six shots. The non-athletic sub at the end of the bench takes six shots. Iguodala was the big offseason acquisition, the final piece to make the Warriors great, the jewel in the crown.

This is a jewel?

He came fifth in the voting for best defensive player in the league this season, and for that we say, “Way to go.” Defense is important on a defense-oriented team. And he’s a good passer and he rebounds. Double “Way to go.”

But please, Andre, shoot the ball. Believe me, you’re allowed to. You just grab that sucker with two hands, face the hoop, jump and flick a wrist. Everyone around you is a flicker. Mostly, you’re a bricker.

In the regular season, Iguodala averaged 9.3 points per game. Iguodala is a starter on a very good team and he managed just 9.3. That’s either shameful or a joke. But, OK, the regular season is over and now the Warriors are in the real season, the playoffs. And Iguodala has a chance to step up.

He’s stepped down. Shriveled in the spotlight. Look, the Clippers are whacking the daylights out of Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ one bona fide great player. The poor guy hardly can get his shot. He’s passing to open teammates so they’ll perform the old flickeroo.

Not Iguodala. It’s like he’s allergic to scoring. He needs to take 15 shots a game. He needs to contribute, needs to develop an offensive ego. But he’s hiding under a rock. Time to come out, Andre.

Iguodala used to score, liked putting ball in hoop. In 2007-08, he averaged almost 20 points for Philadelphia. Before coming to Oakland, he averaged double figures eight of nine seasons. What gives?

At Wednesday’s practice, reporters asked Mark Jackson about Iguodala the bashful, Iguodala the non-assertive. Are there more shots for this guy, shots he’s not taking?

“We need him to be aggressive,” Jackson said. “I thought the foul trouble hurt him (in Game 1), so it’s not a fair barometer when you’re talking about both games. We need him to be more aggressive whether it be for himself or making plays. If they’re going to play Steph that way, then guys got to be live options.”

Iguodala has been a dead option. Being a dead option is no longer an option.

Notice Jackson twice said Iguodala needs to be aggressive. Jackson also said the same thing during the season. Look closely at Jackson’s words and you realize he’s criticizing his starting small forward.

Next question: Does Jackson have plays for Iguodala when Curry gets double-teamed and triple-teamed?

“Everybody is a live option,” Jackson said. “When we put the ball in his (Iguodala’s) hands and they put Blake Griffin on him, those plays are opportunities for him to take advantage of the matchup. But he’s a guy I know he’s going to be fine and I know he’s a guy that embraces moments like this, so there’s no concern.”

Baloney, there’s no concern. There is concern and there should be. Iguodala has had two chances to embrace the moment and he hasn’t done one bit of embracing, kissing or smooching.

In Game 1, the game the Warriors won, he racked up a minus-13. Bear with me. The plus-minus stat shows how your team did when you were on the court. The Warriors were minus 13 points with Iguodala on the floor in a game they won. Ugh! Lucky for them he got into foul trouble and played only 20 minutes. Otherwise they could be down two games to none right now.

On Wednesday, I asked Iguodala if he plans to take more shots tonight in Game 3.

“I’m looking to take more shots every game,” he said. “I just want to play in the flow of the basketball game and not have to force. And it will come. We want to win every single game and, in order to do that, everyone has to play at a high level including myself and I look forward to that.”

Nice to know he looks forward to taking more shots. But looking isn’t taking.

And there’s something else. When the Warriors got Iguodala, they hurt Harrison Barnes. He was a comer last season, a rising star. Now, he is confused, sometimes inept. He moves poorly to his right and he often drives into trouble.

These problems are easily coachable. Where is the coaching?

This season, Barnes has regressed. You could make the argument the Warriors would have been better this season with Barnes — if he had continued to develop — than with Iguodala.

But this season isn’t over. Iguodala still can help his team. Maybe even save his team.

Shoot the ball, Andre.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.

 

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Comments

17 Comments

  1. Brady

    Well, since you were the one to bring up plus-minus, it’s only fair to look at adjusted plus-minus…

    During the regular season, Iguodala had the Warriors’ third-best offensive adjusted plus-minus, despite averaging just 7.3 shots per game.

    He’s hardly the issue.

    April 24th, 2014 6:29 am

  2. Ben

    I’m with you. I remember this guy taking it to the Warriors when they played against him. It’s like he got here and turned into a completely different player.

    April 24th, 2014 7:31 am

  3. dharte

    Nonsense. Iguodala is one of the only players on this team who can defend, and rebound consistently. Without him, the Warriors start to impersonate the great Nelson years, that tiresome Dog & Pony Show with the uncanny ability to turn second-rate talent (see Redick, JJ) into temporary stars.

    You want fratricide? Try D Lee, the man without a position (6th man perhaps?) who simply can’t be bothered to guard anyone most of the time. Then we can move on to Mo Speights. Or maybe Jordan Crawford. The best of Bob Myers….

    Iguodala was the one thing this team did right in the off-season. To have any chance at competing for a title down the road (they are going nowhere fast this year), the Warriors need a power forward with just the sort of versatility and selfless team play that Iguodala has shown throughout this season.

    April 24th, 2014 9:16 am

  4. CohnZohn

    Brady, Yes he is the issue. When the Clips double cover Curry, Curry has to pass. Right now he has only two shooters, Thompson and Lee. Iguodala really needs to start scoring.

    April 24th, 2014 9:18 am

  5. CohnZohn

    Sure, then they’d average 80 points a game.

    April 24th, 2014 9:18 am

  6. Mitch

    Trade Iguodala and Lee for LaMarcus Aldridge and Gordon Hayward. Throw in some picks/money and the W’s just got bigger, younger and faster, and more creative on offense and defense !

    April 24th, 2014 9:53 am

  7. Stan

    He got the big money..and took the Beidrens,Bogut road. “I hurt”..even if in games where they are fine,they still just stand around.
    Its hard to believe the whole season went by,and he never scored 40. Or 30. How many times did he even break 20?

    Big money is a will killer..amazing how many players sink when they get it. Right Cain?

    April 24th, 2014 10:14 am

  8. Brady

    Lowell – if your point is that Jackson has to have better plays for when Curry is double-teamed, and that Curry has to be better about finding the open man, then yes, I agree. But that’s not your point.

    When Iguodala catches the ball and is wide open, he takes the shot. That is not the issue.

    And when he’s not open he’s still one of the Warriors best offensive players, presuming you look past antiquated and relatively meaningless per game statistics.

    April 24th, 2014 10:51 am

  9. Stan

    Something wrong that iguanaman wants to look like Kobe with the arm muffin thing,at least try to score like Bryant. Try.

    April 24th, 2014 10:57 am

  10. Mark M

    He’s been a disappointment. I expected more than this. But it’s seems unreasonable to expect more now, in the playoffs, when he hasn’t been able to do it all year.

    Curry needs help as we need to score big points to win games in this series with Bogut out. Our interior defense is pretty much non existent now so we have to shoot past teams. Score 120 or more is about the only way we’ll have a shot in this series.

    April 24th, 2014 11:29 am

  11. Dave T

    Yes, he is a very very good defender and yes, during the season, he was better with the “starting five”. Two problems here. First, the additional guy guarding the rim is out indefinitely in Bogut. Not only did he make up for mistakes by his counterparts, but he also a very very good passer and bring much tothe table on the offensive end, his presence is sorely missed. Second, the ability to defend wins championships, but in the NBA, more than any of the “Big 4″ sports, you have ot be able to score consistently and with at least 3 major scorers and typically a 4th to pick up the loose ends. Here is what I mean:

    Celtics teams:

    Bird, Parrish, McHale and either Johnson or Ainge put it in the bucket.
    Pierce, Garnett, Allen with Rondo’s ability to score.

    Lakers:
    Johnson, Jabar, Worthy with Scott knocking down key buckets
    Kobe, Shaq (Gasol), Horry (Artest) and Derek Fisher
    Bulls:
    Jordan, Pippen, Grant and Kerr
    Heat:
    James, Wade, Bosh and Chalmers/Allen
    Spurs:
    Duncan, Parker, Ginobli and players like Horry, Kerr and Stephen Jackson
    The Warriors have three who can put up points in Curry, Thompson and Lee, but they need that last player to be a “live” option. Iguadala has that pedigree, he just needs to make it happen.

    April 24th, 2014 12:01 pm

  12. Streetglide

    Seven out of you last nine columns have been about the Worriers. Please make it stop Lowell-san! The NBA is a joke. How about a column on your wine of the month? Or Herb Caen, you must have known him very well. Saw the new stadium on the TV last night looks great, what do you think? Aaanythaannnng but the Worriers, er, Warriors… Thanks! “;”

    April 24th, 2014 12:49 pm

  13. CohnZohn

    Streetglide, I’ve been assigned to the Warriors. I am traveling with them. I’m writing Warriors. My apologies.

    April 24th, 2014 1:08 pm

  14. Streetglide

    Oh dear, what did you do wrong??? Assigned to travel with a bunch of thyroid freaks!? Anaheim, is that where they are playing or one of those other major metroplolii like I-can’t-spell-it Oklahoma City? Memphis? San Antonio? Moosefart, Ohio?

    Out to see the big world eh, Lowell-san? I’ll say a prayer and turn on BBC’s Top Gear when I get home, rustle up some home-made Thai curry and crack a brewski (yes I said brewski) in your memory…

    Hope you enjoy the halftime show. Some guy with a trampoline, three bicycles, a KISS soundtrack and a pony. Have fun!

    April 24th, 2014 2:55 pm

  15. Steve the cat rescuer

    I won’t pretend to know about the intricacies of the NBA salary cap and the ability to sign and/or move players, but how is it that, with all the criticism being heaped upon the coach and certain players, Bob Myers gets a free pass? As constituted this team is devoid of a bench, and it’s “one of the five best centers in the league” is a no show in the biggest games, injuries or not. And speaking of injuries, Teddy Bridgewater played quarterback with broken ribs AND a high ankle sprain. Man up, Bogut.

    April 25th, 2014 9:38 am

  16. Dave T

    @Steve the cat rescuer- you have actually looked at the NBA stats right? Are you sure? The Warriors bench, post Steve Blake trade was the fifth best in the NBA after that move in scoring. How is that not a good bench? And unless you are a doctor and have specific knowledge of which rib is broken on which athlete and the severety, how are you qualified to make any kind of judgement as to whether or not someone can play. I have no doubt that if Bogut could play, and not risk himself to severe injury, he would be doing so. So until a Doctor comes out and says “I told him he could play and not risk further or severe injury.” I let it be at that.

    Let’s spend more time on what they can do right now, and how to win the next game than worry about what if’s.

    April 25th, 2014 11:52 am

  17. Steve the cat rescuer

    @Dave T: I don’t know where you’re getting your stats, but hoopstats.com rates the Warriors bench 23 out of 30 and basketball-reference.com rates them near the bottom as well. With the exception of Green, they don’t pass the eye test either.

    I’m not a doctor and Bogut may well be seriously injured, but his history of fragility makes me suspicious. Last year David Lee played with a serious hip injury, if for no other reason than to inspire the team (which he did). Somehow I don’t see Bogut as very inspirational, a la Willis Reed. My comment was just a reflection about him and athletes, especially football players, who somehow manage to play with inconceivable injuries.

    April 25th, 2014 4:01 pm

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