The Denver Nuggets are doing okay in the Western Conference. They are 24-18 and are the sixth seed at the moment. They have lost their last two games, with the latest loss coming against the Washington Wizards.
Andre Iguodala came to the Nuggets in the offseason through a blockbuster trade that involved Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. It gave Denver some much-needed perimeter defense as Iguodala is one of the best in the league when it comes to that department. Iguodala was asked by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post about his transition process halfway through the season. Here’s what Iggy said:
“I’m probably behind the curve,” the shooting guard said. “It’s been a roller-coaster as far as comfort level, the ups and downs of the NBA season, but that happens in transition. The main thing is to stay positive, continue to do the little things well and hopefully once out of slumps faster instead of letting them linger on.”
And it has showed that maybe he’s trying a little too hard to be the man of the team when all he has to do is play his game. Iguodala’s not a superstar; he’s a very good player that has great defensive chops. He is being paid like one (nearly $15 million this season) but it seems like he puts too much pressure on himself to be some sort of franchise player, when he’s really not one.
Denver coach George Karl seems to think so. From the same article:
“I think he’s putting too much pressure on himself, he’s thinking too much,” Nuggets coach George Karl said Saturday. “For me, it’s just trying to get him some easy baskets, simplify, get some confidence in his game and he’ll be fine.”
It hasn’t been a great January for Iguodala. While he’s doing the other little things (5.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.7 steals per game in January), he’s only averaging 11.6 points per game that month. His shooting is way down, too; he’s shooting .377 from the field, .237 from three, and .467 from the foul line in that same January. So, yes, it does feel like he’s pressing. Still, the Nuggets are 7-3 in that span so it’s not all bad for Denver. But Iguodala just has to play his game. Then he’ll no longer be behind the curve, as he says.
Iguodala and the Nuggets will have a huge test on Sunday when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder, who just came off a big win against Dallas.