With the 76ers’ season coming to an end and the playoffs just around the corner, Philadelphia is now in the seventh seed after a loss to the New York Knicks tonight. The Sixers are young, full of sprouting talent and players that are capable of filling a stat sheet, but they’re missing one thing.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the 76ers lack a player, capable of knocking down “the shot.” What’s even more of a problem is that Andre Iguodala thinks that’s what he does. Yes, he knocked down an important three in tonight’s game against New York in the Wells Fargo Center, bringing the Sixers back to within one point, but it’s consistency he lacks.
If it wasn’t for his juggernaut defensive skills, he wouldn’t last in Philly; a city known for harsh criticism. Doug Collins believes that he’s a defensive player of the year candidate, mainly because of his ability to shut down the opposition’s top scorers. He thrives defensively because of his athleticism.
So, why doesn’t he convert his freakish athletic ability to the offensive end, in ways other than putting on a fast-break show? Sure, we’ll see an occasional monster jam, bringing down the Wells Fargo Center or silencing an away arena, but why don’t we see him get to the hoop more often? Iguodala possesses the ability to get to the basket, by either drawing contact or rewarding himself with points in the paint, but for some reason, unknown even to the Lord himself, he chooses not to. Instead, he settles for rafter-grazing, mid-range jump shots.
The Sixers have lost the last three games and Iguodala’s shooting numbers have been repulsive. He is 10-for-30 (one-for-eight shooting threes) from the field and he’s missed five foul shots on only 16 attempts. Why doesn’t he get to the line more?
As I said earlier, the Sixers don’t have anyone on their roster that can close out games. Right now, their most talented scorer, Louis Williams, is out with an injured hamstring, so I guess Iguodala may feel the need to carry more of the scoring load. But, wait. Why is he only averaging 10 shots in his last three games? Shouldn’t the offense’s main focal point be shooting the ball more than 10 times? Some may say that he shouldn’t, because of his low percentage (backing up my argument) and other may say that he is too unselfish. Listen, I’m not criticizing his ability to set up teammates, nor am I bashing his rebounding skills. He has the ability to overflow a box score, but shot selection, my Lord, the shot selection. Oh well; what can you do. Screaming at a Television won’t get any point across. I’ve learned that from experience.
What do I think the reason for Iguodala’s poor shot selection is? I think he’s a bit lost. He believes he’s the center-point of our point production, yet he’s only taken 30 shots in the last three games; plus, he’s only gotten to the line 16 times. Maybe he’s just confused and hasn’t found his game yet. He’s still young, but most would think he’d have gotten it by now. Anyway, whoever taught him that a fade-away, rainbow jump shot from 18 feet, with five fingers inches from his grill, must have been confused as well.