Andre Iguodala 2014–2015 Season in Review


Throughout the offseason, Blue Man Hoop will be reviewing the Golden State Warriors’ 2014-15 season with breakdowns of the performances of each individual player.

The Numbers

In what was perhaps the biggest sacrifice made by any Warriors player this season, Andre Iguodala relinquished his starting role to Harrison Barnes in order to instill confidence in the young player and provide veteran leadership off the bench. As a result, Iguodala averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a career low 27 minutes per game.

His regular season numbers may not stand out,  but his overall impact on the Warriors’ success goes beyond the box score. Iguodala is a consummate professional and a true definition of a team player. He elevated his play during the biggest stage of his career against the current best player in the world. In the NBA Finals, Iguodala averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 40 percent beyond the arc and making 53 percent of his field goal attempts. He had a +/- rating of + 10.3 in the finals.

Iguodala’s stellar defense on LeBron James and his imprint on the pace of Games 4-6 were pivotal, resulting in the first NBA championship for the franchise in 40 years.

The Positives

Jun 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward

LeBron James

(23) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the fourth quarter in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Versatility. It’s what made the Warriors the best regular season team and eventual NBA champions. Andre Iguodala is arguably the most versatile Warriors player on both ends of the floor. He can facilitate while being the primary ball handler, which opens up looks for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

He can shoot. He made about 35 percent of his threes in the regular season but improved significantly in the finals, shooting at around 40 percent.

He can push the tempo. With Iguodala on the court the Warriors had a 108.8 offensive rating while scoring 101.9 points per 48 minutes. Without him, they had a 91.2 offensive rating while scoring only 83.8 points per 48 minutes.

His offensive impact was apparent when he was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time all season in Game 4 of the Finals. The Warriors were finally able to play comfortably at their own pace with Iguodala on the court. His ability to run the floor gives the Warriors their offensive identity. In addition, his ability to knock down the open shot and finish at the rim gave the Warriors much-needed scoring throughout the playoffs.

Iguodala’s strongest skill set is his defense. If not for him, the Cavaliers may have taken Game 1 on a game-winning drive by James that could have changed the outcome of the series. Iguodala was a monster on defense all season, with a penchant for playing the passing lanes, which resulted in easy transition buckets.

While his off-ball defense was incredible all year, he stepped up his on-ball defense against James, who shot only 33 percent from the field in the Finals when being guarded by Iguodala. He’s able to play aggressive defense on the perimeter while also having the quickness and length to recover on drives and contest the shot.

He’s also an underrated post defender, as he was able to force LeBron to take difficult fade aways and highly contested layups. Iguodala is absolutely essential to the team’s defensive identity.

The Negatives

Free throw shooting is perhaps Iguodala’s biggest flaw. He shot at nearly 60 percent during the regular season but regressed considerably in the playoffs, making only 41.5 percent of his free throws. He’s a career 71.7 percent free throw shooter, but his recent free throw woes in the previous two seasons have occasionally made him a liability.

His mechanics show no flaws, however. This seems to be a confidence issue, as we’ve witnessed him converting his free throws when he has a good offensive rhythm going. His poor free throw shooting seems to be a factor in his other huge flaw

He also shows a lack of aggression at times. Throughout the season, we would witness Iguodala make a strong move to the rim only to dump it off to a trailing teammate or kick it out to someone in the corner, instead of making an easy basket. While selflessness was a key factor in the championship run, Iguodala can be almost too selfless on the court. He often passes up easy scoring opportunities in order to get his teammates good looks. Ball movement is crucial to the team’s success, but Iguodala could certainly look to score more often.

Despite his occasional tentativeness, he found the perfect balance between scoring and distributing in the Finals. He picked up the scoring slack in the playoffs, dropping 22 points in the series-defining Game 4, and 25 during the championship-clinching Game 6.

Best Moment

Is there honestly a better feeling than winning the Finals MVP award and beating the best player in the league? For a man who didn’t start throughout the entire season until Game 4 of the Finals, this achievement is unparalleled. Curry’s value to this team is immeasurable, but Iguodala being rewarded for his role of the ultimate team player is perhaps his greatest moment of the season.

Next: Iguodala's Invaluable Final Performance