The Golden State Warriors have added a lethal weapon in swingman Andre Iguodala, but he throws a wrench in the equation regarding distribution of shots. Let’s take a look at who the stat leaders could be after the 2013-14 season.
Points Per Game: Stephen Curry (25)
Stephen Curry’s career is still on the upswing, and despite adding another scorer, Curry could still improve upon his point per game total from 2012-13, when he averaged almost 23 points.
The one major factor of his game that demands improvement is how much Curry gets to the free-throw line. Last year, he averaged 3.7 free throw attempts per game, but he should be able to attempt at least five next year. This is how Curry has slow the game down to his pace, while also putting more points up on the board.
Iguodala should focus on slashing through the lanes to get open looks for the “Splash Brothers” (Klay Thompson and Curry), giving Curry another chance to break his own record of most three pointers made in a season (272).
Rebounds Per Game: David Lee (10.5)
David Lee may feel like the odd man left out of the Warriors’ offense with the addition of Iguodala, but he should still have no problem chasing down extra rebounds and putting up impressive double-double numbers by the end of the season. Lee tracks down at least a few “hustle rebounds” every game, which should help him in his quest to continue to be the most consistent power forward in the game.
Assists Per Game: Curry (nine)
Stephen Curry has full reign of the offense, and may have to handle the ball ever more than last year due to the departure of key reserve, Jarrett Jack. He will not only be depended on to score 25 a game, but head coach Mark Jackson will have to lean on Curry to create shots for others as well. This could lead to Curry’s career-high average in assists per game, with his previous career-high being seven in 2012-13.
Three-Pointers Per Game: Klay Thompson (3.3)
Although his ability to take defenders off the dribble didn’t improve as much last year, Thompson’s three-point stroke is as smooth as ever.
As he becomes more of a threat to go to the rim, defenders will be forced to give him more space beyond the three-point arc. Last year, Thompson made 2.6 three’s per game, and he will once again have the green light to jack up almost any shot his heart desires.
As he develops as all around basketball player, all of Thompson’s numbers should rise, his three’s attempted and made, will both be career-highs in 2013-14.
Turnovers Per Game: Andre Iguodala (2.5)
Turnovers have always been an issue for Andre Iguodala, and his first season with the Warriors won’t be any different. As he adjusts to playing with new teammates, there will surely be growing pains as Iguodala learns to play alongside rising stars like Curry and Thompson.
The main reason that Iguodala could put up high turnover numbers?
Mark Jackson may be forced to use Iguodala as the secondary ball-handler behind Curry, especially when Curry has to go to the bench. Iguodala has already proven that he can post high assist numbers, but sometimes, he makes decisions too late when he’s already in the air, and in the NBA, that almost always leads to turnovers.
Steals Per Game: Iguodala (just under two)
This statistic will be the saving grace for Andre Iguodala. Despite the potentially high turnover rate he plays at, Iguodala has some of the most active hands of any defender in the league. He now has as little offensive responsibility as he’s had in his career, and can focus on what makes him an elite player, his wing defense.
Iguodala has a chance to match his career high of 2.1 steals per game in 2013-14 because of the rim protection he will have behind him. He can take more chances going for steals in the passing lanes, or just taking bigger risks trying to pick pockets.