Why Andre Iguodala and the Golden State Warriors are a Match Made in Heaven

July 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Andre Iguodala (left) poses for a photo with Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers (right) in a press conference after a sign-and-trade deal for Iguodala to become a Golden State Warriors player at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

He’s got the dough, the various All-Star appearances, impressive career statistics, as well as a gold medal.

After relocating to Denver, the Nuggets experienced the best season of their franchise’s history thanks in part to Andre Iguodala’s dynamic impact defensively. However, their success was merely ephemeral. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by none other than the Golden State Warriors.

In the same way, Andre’s fortune in the postseason hasn’t exactly remained enduring, despite affiliating with regular season teams that were competent enough to partake in the playoffs. The six-foot-six wing man’s best postseason came in 2012, when the Sixers advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. This accomplishment isn’t anything to boast about, as the second round of the playoffs is still a long way away from the Finals.

This year, Andre is hoping to compensate for his nine-year career in which he has failed to win the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. Winning a championship is Iguodala’s ultimate goal, according to an AP interview where he revealed his feelings of being undervalued.

“I don’t think I got enough credit for what I bring to certain teams, especially last year with the record that we had, breaking the franchise record for wins and how we kind of kept everything together and pulled off a great season,” Iguodala said. ”Just really continue to build with this team as well. Not just for one year but do it for multiple years, keep making runs at everyone’s ultimate goal, which is a championship.”

There’s only one thing missing on his resume, and Andre is ready to take that next step in his sustained NBA career by not only flourishing in the regular season, but by establishing himself as a champion.

Iguodala will presumably play with a chip on his shoulder as he looks to make colossal strides toward an NBA championship. After a year of unexpected success, which included challenging the Western Conference Champions San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs, the Warriors will play fervently this year as well as they look to build on their recent progress. With the addition of the defensive specialist, the team’s defense will be much improved compared to last season, where they were just about average.

According to Basketball-Reference, the Denver Nuggets gave up 4.4 more points per 100 possessions when Iguodala was on the bench rather than on the floor last season. Additionally, the Nuggets’ defensive efficiency improved from nineteenth place to eleventh place since his arrival to the squad. He thrives as an isolation defender and shutting down the opponent’s best perimeter player, and he’s able to smother them without fouling.

Lebron was notorious for avoiding whistles last season, including multiple games where he didn’t commit a single foul. According to MySynergySports, the league’s MVP fouled 7.5 percent of the time. In comparison, Iggy fouled just 5.9 percent of the time. This will help alleviate the pressure from Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes by allowing them to exert more energy on offense.

On the flip side, Iguodala will be liberated to focus on his defensive duties as well as distributing the ball as the Splash Brothers, Harrison Barnes and David Lee will take the scoring load off of Iguodala’s shoulders. Iggy’s ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates will boost the Warriors’ current high-scoring offense, which will exasperate opposing defenses.

Andre’s skillset does more than just make up for the loss of Jarrett Jack’s ball-handling and playmaking ability. Jarrett Jack is not the two-way player that Andre is; nor does he have the advantage of seeing over the defense while running the offense with a six-foot-six frame, like Iguodala. In fact, Jack was a detriment to the team’s defense more than anything else, unlike the taller swingman.

Iguodala is accustomed to playing point-forward. He was the only non-point guard to post a 26.81 assist rate, which is good for being 24th in the league, according to Hoopdata.com. Not only is he a facilitator, but he can penetrate the defense and finish at the rim as well.

The Nuggets lacked decent shooters, which clogged the driving lane, making it difficult for them to finish at the rim. Now that he’s playing for Golden State however, the defense will be forced to account for the plethora of three-point specialists; in turn, that will create proper spacing on the floor to drive to the basket. The opposition will be forced to pick their poison defending against the Dubs’ enriched offense. They will have to beware of the high-flying Iguodala bolting in the lane for a shot near the rim (where he converted 70 percent of his shots for his career per Hoopdata.com), or simply dishing the ball out to the open three-point shooter. Not only that, but running a pick-and-roll with Andre and Curry would create a mismatch, and allow Iggy to post up a smaller defender.

The addition of Andre Iguodala to the Warriors is like a perfect couple. In an infallible relationship, each partner’s qualities not only complement the other’s perfectly, but also compensate for their partner’s deficiencies. Although it will be a compelling story to follow, hopefully this relationship between Iguodala and the Warriors can take the team to the next level and put a ring on it.

Topics: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

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