In a four-team trade, the Denver Nuggets traded Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo and were able to bring All-Star Andre Iguodala to Denver. He had a remarkable season in 2011 – 2012, but how he will he look on a new team in 2012-2013?
Last season as a Philadelphia 76er, Iguodala averaged 12.4 points on 45.4% shooting, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, and shot 39.4% from downtown. His all-around stats from the condensed season garnered him his first All-Star bid, but can he perform at the same rate or even better for Denver?
There has been some questioning if Denver has lost a portion of their offense because of the switch from Afflalo to Iguodala, but the fact is Iguodala will benefit from the fast-paced system in Denver.
It’s also fair to mention the difference of paces between Philadelphia and Denver, as Denver was the second fastest pace in the league and the 76ers were at the bottom of the barrel at 24th. This is another item to factor into Iguodala’s outlook in 2012 – 2013 as he will be a consistent figure in this system
He will be used in transition, which is one of his strengths, to get to the basket. I will reiterate, he will not be used for jump-shooting as Denver is not a team that chucks up jumpers. That team is long gone. Nearly 54% of Denver’s made shots were in the paint last season, and that’s where Denver’s coaching staff will utilize Iguodala in terms of his offense.
Iguodala is an upgrade for Denver. He’s more athletic, defensive-minded, and has a well-rounded skill set. Thus, he should pad his stats on the offensive end as he will be a beneficial party from the ebb and flow Denver’s game.
Then, there’s his elite defensive impact, something Denver is in dire need of. Last season, the Nuggets ranked dead last in field goal percentages allowed in relation to long 2-pointers (41.4), as well as, 3-point shots (57.5%).
With Iguodala on board, Denver should see a vast improvement in both of those metric categories. Also, Iguodala will embrace his defensive role with the Nuggets and that will entice the other players, especially teammates like JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, and Timofey Mozgov, to improve their personal defense. This will improve the team’s defense as well.
The statisticians at Wages For Wins formulated this: the Nuggets traded a win negator in Harrington and acquired a win generator in Iguodala, it equates to a plus 10.9 wins for the Nuggets.
In layman’s terms: Denver will win more games.
He will be playing as many minutes as Ty Lawson, predicted around the 33-35 mark, and Iguodala automatically improved Denver from a 5-7 seed to a 3-6 seed in the Western Conference.
“My focus is to help our team, not only to go out there and to play to the best of our abilities but to believe that we are going to put ourselves in contention to be at the top of the West, no matter what anybody else says. We are going to go out there and play for one thing, and that is a championship.” – Iguodala
My not-so bold prediction for 2012-2013: Iguodala may possibly average 16-18 points for the season, as well as an improved mark in assists as he will be a valued playmaker in Denver.
Iguodala in the backcourt along with Lawson is going to be an exciting endeavor for Nuggets fans.