I’m not sure there is a player with a game log stranger than Andre Iguodala’s has been in the first nine games of his Golden State Warriors’ career.
Iguodala has a 32-point game. He has four games where he scored in single digits. He has a game where he took 18 shots. He has three games where he took six shots or fewer.
He has two games with 11 assists and a game where he had just two.
A casual observer might look at that litany of wildly contrasting numbers and see a player who redefines “inconsistent.”
That observer would not have the first idea of just how much Andre Iguodala has meant to the Golden State Warriors, because through the first nine games of the season Iguodala has been whoever the Dubs have needed him to be.
When Golden State needed Iggy to be a scorer, he’s scored. When they’ve needed a tough point guard locked down on the defensive end, Iggy’s been the guy to take on the job of defending a Tony Parker. When the Warriors needed a tough wing defender, Andre’s taken on the challenge of guarding Kevin Durant.
He’s been a facilitator. With Toney Douglas out, he’s taking on more of the point guard responsibilities.
And in Golden State’s scintillating 116-115 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, he wielded the dagger, a fadeaway jumper on the baseline at the buzzer that gave the Warriors the victory.
More than that, though, is that Iguodala has been something he’s never been before—efficient. A career 46 percent shooter overall and just a 32.9 percent marksman from 3-point range over his first nine seasons, Iguodala is shooting 60 percent overall and 50 percent from deep.
The difference, according to 82games.com, is when Iguodala is shooting the ball. With the Philadelphia 76ers, he was the guy who had to take the “crap, the shot clock is just about done” shot—18 percent of his shots came in the last four seconds of the clock. With Denver last season, that figure was 17 percent. This season, he’s attempting just 4 percent of his shots at the end of the clock.
That’s going to help a player’s efficiency more than just a little.
The difference when Iguodala’s on the court versus off it is bordering on insane—granted, with a small sample size so far.
But the shocker is where the difference lies.
When Iguodala is off, the defense has actually improved by 3.5 points per 100 possessions (97.7 with Iguodala, 94.1 without).
On the offensive end, though, this team transforms from showtime to no time when Iggy heads to the bench. With Iguodala, the Warriors have an offensive rating of 110.2. Without him? Try 79.7. That’s a 30.4 points per 100 possession difference, for a net differential of 26.9 points per 100 possessions.
That’s MVP-level stuff there.
If there’s one area of his game that is worthy of some scrutiny, it’s his free-throw shooting. Iguodala is just 15-for-27 at the line, 55.6 percent, part of a continuing downward spiral over the course of his career.
In 2006-07, Iguodala was an 82 percent free throw shooter. From 2007-08 through 2009-10, he shot 72.5 percent, a curious dropoff.
He fell off to 69.3 percent in 2010-11, dropped to 61.7 in 2011-12 and was just a 57.4 percent free-throw shooter last year.
That’s almost 25 percentage points difference over a seven-season span and his percentage is on target to drop even more this season.
It hasn’t reached a point where teams are employing a Hack-A-‘Dre strategy, but it’s something worth at least being aware of.
But the rest of Andre Iguodala’s game? He’s apparently happy with his role—that role being whatever the Warriors need at that particular moment.