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Iguodala thinks all great scorers should be great defenders

Apr 5, 2012, 2:28 PM EDT

Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce AP

Andre Iguodala is using a lot of logic here. That’s never going to work.

Iguodala is one of the game’s best wing defenders, and he told Sports Illustrated (via Ball Don’t Lie) that part of that comes from how he has been asked to be a go-to (or secondary) scorer over the years. And if it worked for him….

“I learned from being a go-to guy what I didn’t like,” Iguodala says. “Coaches tell you, ‘Get to the hole. Don’t settle for jump shots.’ So when I guard somebody, I want them to settle for jumpers—outside the paint but inside the three-point line—and then use my length to contest late.” Iguodala memorizes where opponents hold the ball before they raise it up. Bryant is the toughest to strip because he cradles the ball by his hip; Lakers forward Metta World Peace might appear to be the easiest, because he puts it in front of his body, but he is trying to draw cheap fouls.

“It makes no sense to me why so many good scorers can’t defend,” Iguodala says. “Like Lou Williams. He’s one of the toughest guys to guard in the league, but he can’t guard anybody. I don’t get that.”

That would be Iggy’s teammate Lou Williams.

Defense at the NBA level is really about effort and desire — you’re not there unless you’re a pretty good athlete. Despite what Metta World Peace believes he used to do, you can’t shut down the best scorers completely — good defense will beat good offense in the NBA. You can defend Dirk Nowitzki perfectly and he’s still going to hit a lot of 19-foot fade-aways.

But you can make guys work for it. Iguodala makes guys work for it. Other NBA stars do it when asked — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade — but they also try to conserve their energy for the offensive end. Where they also have to carry a heavy load.

But a lot of guys don’t have that same passion for defense — there is no glory in defense (or at least that is the perception). Save your energy for the offensive end.

Iggy just doesn’t get that.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    What Iggy’s saying is perfectly logical when talking about NBA players in general terms.

    As far as Iguodala’s specific situation…THE 76ERS NEED YOU TO LOOK FOR YOUR SHOT MORE OFTEN! Your defense is much appreciated by knowledgable NBA circles and its primarily the reason you are an all-star…but your team needs you to score more.

    **Some players just “get buckets” and they’re not well-rounded whatsoever…and they need to work on that. Iggy is very well-rounded…and he needs to work on GETTING BUCKETS.

  2. pbanach01 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Maybe in the media and with ignorant fans there is no ‘glory’ in defense. But to execs who are trying to build a winning team and to the fans who actually know basketball, it is all about defense. Offense gets the highlights and most the attention while defense wins championships. I would much rather have rings then be known as a prolific scorer who played suspect defense. I think Iggy should shoot a little bit more though. Dude is talented.

  3. pbanach01 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    i.e. Any team Mike D has coached with his run and gun offense. Go to the playoffs all you want but you still will be ring less.

  4. 4thquartermagic - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Defense is overrated.

    -Signed Carmelo Anthony

  5. mikeewright7 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    “It makes no sense to me why so many good scorers can’t defend,” Iguodala says. “Like Lou Williams. He’s one of the toughest guys to guard in the league, but he can’t guard anybody. I don’t get that.”

    Wait maybe i read this wrong, did he throw his teammate under the bus?

    • tcclark - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      He didn’t say anything we all didn’t already know

      • mikeewright7 - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Right, but that dont mean open that to the public…Maybe its me but if i wanted the 4th spot over the celtics i wouldnt be throwing my teammate under the bus, esp with like 13 games left and esp not to the media…

      • tcclark - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        he’s not really throwing him under the bus. He’s not blaming Lou for anything, he’s just stating a fact. Lou is a terrible defender and this isn’t news. Everyone knows he is awful, and I don’t think Iguodala has a problem with it. Doug Collins is one of the most defensive minded coaches out there and if i had to say who Doug’s favorite player on the team was, I’d say Lou. Doug loves him despite the fact that he can’t play.

        The best part about the Sixers is that everyone knows their role. Lou is well aware that he is a terrible defender and Doug’s ok with that as long as he provides the spark off the bench that he’s supposed to. Now if he wasn’t doing that and Iguodala came out and said something about it in relationship to their recent struggles, then yes, i’d say he was throwing him under the bus. But he’s not doing that. He’s just using his teammate as an example of a great scorer who can’t defend. Honestly I’d be flattered that he chose me over all of the other great scorers in the league.

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Are great defenders allowed to be great scorers? That’s a question Iggy should ask himself. If anyone thinks he should be getting the ball more doesn’t watch the 76ers when the game is on the line.

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