Five games into the regular season, Andre Iguodala, the Golden State Warriors star acquisition, already proved his value to his team and fans. Entering the season Iguodala knew he had joined a talented team that allowed him to contribute to a winning season without being the star player:
“The good thing is we have a bunch of good character guys, so the No. 1 main thing for us is winning. I think we put winning as a team over any individual goals. Those are the type of things that don’t show up on the stat sheet that can help our team win.” -CSN Bay Area Interview
The Warriors home opener was the first true test for Andre Iguodala and his play enforced this notion of team over individual goals. With seven points on 3-of-7 shooting, four rebounds and four assists, Iguodala made healthy contributions before the bench finished up the game in the Warriors 125-94 dismantling of the Kobe-less Lakers. Iguodala showed Oracle Arena a stunning behind the back pass that was returned to him for an easy basket.
In the second game of the season Andre Iguodala played nearly 43 minutes against the L.A. Clippers. Iguodala scored only 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, but added 11 assists along with stingy defense that included two steals. While the Warriors lost against the Clippers, Iguodala did his part in the teams effort to overcome one of their major rivals in the western conference. Early in the game David Lee lobbed an alley-oop to Iguodala, however the Clippers found more opportunities in the teams first meeting of the season.
Following the first loss of the season, the Warriors faced the Kings, and as Andre predicted in his preseason interview, his contributions didn’t show up on the stat sheet. In 39 minutes Iguodala recorded six rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot to accompany five points on 2-5 shooting. While the numbers weren’t huge, Iguodala brought the crowd to their feet with an alley-oop assist to Andrew Bogut and played a key facilitating roll in the win.
The Warriors were 2-1 and beginning a four game road trip against the undefeated Philadelphia 76ers who beat both the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls. Returning to Philadelphia for the first time wearing Warriors colors, Iguodala’s game truly impressed. Andre demonstrated Curry/Thompson-esque shooting ability going 7-11 from three point range , and showed off his all star ability with a behind the back pass to David Lee against his former team in what was clearly his best game of the early season.
After a great performance, Iguodala kept up his high level of play against the Timberwolves; recording 42 minutes with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. To accompany his scoring Andre Iguodala contributed six assists and three steals.
So far in the season, Iguodala demonstrated his stamina, scoring ability, and his presence clearly boosts the Warriors team defense. Andre began his four year contract with the Warriors with fantastic contributions; the only area of his game that needs improvement is from the free throw line. While Iguodala’s career free throw percentage is 72.3 percent, in recent years his consistency has plummeted. Perhaps he needs glasses, or simply needs clock more hours from the free throw line in practice; what’s clear is that he needs to improve his current rate of 56.3 percent.
So far this season, Andre Iguodala has been all the Warriors thought they would get when they signed him to a four year deal this summer. If I were grading his play to date, I would give him an A- for his quick transition to new teammates and quality play so far this season; his only downfall being his free throw shooting. To be honest, I’m not worried about the free throw issue until after the all star break; what is important starting the season is smooth team to grow the Warriors chemistry. That part of the came I’m simply pointing out, but it really only becomes a big problem when playing in the playoffs. I am very excited to watch what Andre Iguodala and the Warriors accomplish this season and in years to come.