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Just The Sports: Post-Iverson

Just The Sports

Sunday, February 11, 2007


As expected, the decision by the Philadelphia 76ers to trade away Allen Iverson, who had been the face of the franchise since being drafted first overall in 1996, led to ramifications that affected, if not the whole team, than at least two of his former teammmates, Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver.

Like I just alluded to, the 76ers have suffered few adverse effects due to the ceasing of Iverson's Philadelphia career, but the gains that have been experienced have been minimal as well and have had no bearing on the team's overall play. Without Allen Iverson, the 76ers have been unable to force as many turnovers per their opponent's possession (.191 TO/Poss. to .161 TO/Poss.). Then again, the team's assist rate has increased significantly, improving from 14.9 during the fifteen games Iverson played for the 76ers to 16.8 in the thirty-six without him. Yet, even these decreases and increases have not been enough to keep the offensive and defensive efficiencies of the two sets of games from being virtual mirror images of each other.

Iverson's individual teammates, especially Iguodala and Korver, have had their career paths indelibly marked by Iverson's departure. When Iguodala looks back on the events of this year during the off-season, he would do well to sit down and express a debt of gratitude to Iverson for being such a fantastic malcontent, which has resulted in Iguodala's scoring average jumping dramatically from 13.3 points per game with Iverson to a robust 19.6 points per game sans the Answer. No longer having to defer to Iverson, Iguodala is now free to take the extra 4.2 shots per game that, along with his increased trips to and makes at the free throw line, are the major reasons for his augmented scoring.

Korver, on the other hand, will not be thanking Iverson now or ever for the effect the trade has had on his season statistics. Like Iguodala, Korver, too, has been able to shoot the ball more, an extra 2.7 times per game to be exact, without Iverson doing his best impression of a black hole, but his extra shots have been a detriment to his shooting percentage, dropping it from 60.5 eFG% to 48.7 eFG%. Korver is not the type of player who should shoot a lot in any given game; he is a much more efficient offensive player when he shoots the ball around nine times per game like he was doing when Iverson was a 76er (9.2 attempts per game) as opposed to the 11.9 shots per game he is taking now. Perhaps Korver values shots less the more he launches, but if the 76ers want him to return to form, they will begin to ration his shots more effectively.

In their play without Iverson, Iguodala and Korver have put their strengths and weaknesses, respectively, on display for the NBA world to witness. Now it can safely be said about Iguodala that he can be a twenty point per game scorer for a team with no chance of making the playoffs and that Korver should never be put into a position where he becomes even the secondary offensive option on an NBA team.



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