Tuesday September 13th, 2016

Individual scoring is but a small part of basketball evaluation. So much of what a player offers to a team is less direct: facilitating offense for others can be just as useful as scoring if not more so; preventative defense can slide the margin of a game dramatically and complicate an opponent’s team dynamics; a knack for grabbing contested rebounds can prove vital; and the ability to forge a symbiotic relationship with other superstars might be the most valuable characteristic of all. Iguodala barely scores but aces nearly every other criteria—leading first and foremost with defense. The most dangerous wings in the league are Iguodala’s purview. He sizes them up and plays to their tendencies as precisely as any defender in the league, beginning with where and when they’d like the ball. Denial from an expert defender imparts disadvantage. Some of the opponents’ possessions are derailed by Iguodala before they even have a chance to begin, all thanks to some single prevented action or stall in the works of a set play. From that point, players operating against Iguodala have to contend with one of the NBA’s best isolation defenders without the aid of play structure. Iguodala wins those one-on-one battles enough to actively discourage opponents from running sets his way. It’s a caliber of coverage that actually seeps into the way opponents call plays and make decisions at the most fundamental levels. Iguodala creates change—all without ever really needing the ball in his hands. (Last year: No. 44)

+ Vision and creativity make Iguodala a wonderful secondary playmaker
+ Flexible to role in the right situation
Already in decline, at risk of injury and age compromising his effectiveness
No longer collapses defenses like he used to

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