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.
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