Tuesday 23rd April 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

NBA Playoffs 2012: Meet Andre Iguodala, A Superstar

May 11, 2012 – Dan Favale

Andre Iguodala is an All-Star, though he’s hardly looked at as one. And it’s time that changed.

In career-defining fashion, Iguodala propelled the Philadelphia 76ers to victory over the Chicago Bulls Thursday night. It was a win that clinched the series for the Sixers, sending them into the second round.

And while the victory was the result of a team effort, it was Iguodala’s heroics in the game’s final seconds that sealed the deal.

After Chicago’s Omer Asik missed consecutive free throws, Iguodala took the ball the length of the court in under five seconds with his team down one. He attacked the rim, drew contact and subsequently, the foul. He sank both attempts from the charity stripe to give Philadelphia a one-point lead with just over two seconds remaining. The Bulls’ last ditch effort was unsuccessful, and confetti rained down.

The composure it takes to accomplish what Iguodala did cannot be taken lightly. He was not having an efficient series on the offensive end, shooting just 35 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc.

But he found other ways to contribute, grabbing rebounds, dishing out assists, forcing turnovers and protecting the ball. And despite his lackluster shooting, when the Sixers needed a big play in Game 6, when they needed someone to step up and exude that killer instinct only stars possess, Iguodala rose to the occasion.

As a point forward, Iguodala is not liable to blow up the stat lines, but he’s also not one to disappear either. If his shot isn’t falling, he’ll create for his teammates, if his passes aren’t crisp, he’ll hit the boards, and so on.

No, this isn’t LeBron James were are discussing, nor is it a player who is likely to lead his team to a title this year, but this is an athlete who can contribute in so many different ways, that his efforts and abilities go overlooked altogether.

Make no mistake, without Iguodala, the Sixers would be contending for Anthony Davis in the upcoming draft, not playing their way toward the second round of the playoffs. His versatile arsenal coupled with his impenetrable leadership abilities make him great. Not good, great.

Would Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday receive as many open looks if Iguodala wasn’t breaking down opposing defenses? Would Spencer Hawes be playing his way toward an enormous contract if he wasn’t being fed the ball by his small forward? And would Thaddeus Young be as effective if Iguodala wasn’t constantly pursuing pick-and-rolls?

Absolutely, positively not.

Iguodala is the heart and soul of the Sixers. He is one of the most underrated players in the NBA who rarely receives recognition as a superstar.

But he is, and his game-winning free throws Thursday night proved it. Those aren’t easy foul shots to hit, yet he hit them both. And as a result, we must come to understand that being a superstar isn’t always about gaudy stat lines and perpetual pompousness.

Sometimes, it’s about just being there for your team, in whatever capacity they need you to be.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His basketball musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.


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