It has been quite a roller-coaster season for Andre Iguodala. He has displayed glimpses of greatness with a 32-point performance early in the season against the Philadelphia 76ers, and his game winning shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in November.
The strong start to Iguodala’s first season with the Golden State Warriors was very promising. Fans and analysts believed that he is the piece that would push the Warriors into championship contention.
However, it seems like Iggy has hit his peak and is now on the decline. A turning point in the season for him came on the night against the Los Angeles Lakers. In the second half, Iguodala strained his left hamstring which ruled him out for 12 games.
It was the first major injury he has ever suffered throughout his career. Prior to the injury, his averages of 13 points and 6.3 assists were similar to what he was able to do in Denver the year before. After his return from the 12-game absence, his stat line took a dip to averaging just 8.1 points and 3.5 assists. Is it safe to say that the hamstring injury is the main reason in Iguodala’s offensive decline?
The biggest attribute that Iguodala presents for the Warriors is his penetration ability. His strength, wide frame, and agility allow him to get into the paint at his own will. This season he is converting 63% of his shots in the paint. At such a high conversion rate, many would assume that he would go into the paint more often. However, the ratio between shot attempts in the paint to three-point attempts is just 1.04 (146 shots in the paint to 140 three-point shots).
The injury to Iguodala’s left hamstring may be a testament to why his shot attempts outside are so high compared to attempts inside. Being a predominantly right-handed player, he would usually elevate by launching off of his left leg. The strained left hamstring may make him second guess the inside shots due to physical pain or being mentally psyched out. However, this may not be the biggest reason as to why his numbers are declining.
The jump to Golden State was a huge change in roles for Iguodala. He was viewed as the main contributor in both Philadelphia and Denver. In both stints, the offense was wrapped around his skill set. When he joined with the Warriors, the offense has already been built around abilities of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors are a jump-shooting team. They swing the ball, use screens, and maneuver around until they get an open shot. The offense system that the Warriors run forces Iguodala to shoot the ball; he no longer has the freedom to penetrate when he wants to.
Iguodala’s field-goal percentages have remained consistent with this year compared to his career. This season, he averages 54.3% inside the arc and 34% outside the arc. The frequency of shots is the main factor in his decline of offense. His shot attempts have dropped from 11 per game to 7.6 per game. With Curry and Klay shooting the ball, who can complain about Iguodala not getting enough shots?