Andre Iguodala's Olympic Play Encouraging for Sixers Fans

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Andre Iguodala #9 of United States reacts in the second half against Nigeria during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The selection of Andre Iguodala to the United States Men's Olympic basketball team may have been puzzling to some Philadelphia 76ers fans, but it's clear that head coach Mike Krzyzewski made a smart choice.

Iguodala's defense is what scored him a role on the latest installment of the "Dream Team," but it's his energized play on the offensive end that has turned heads thus far.

The Sixers' small forward was a force in Monday's 126-97 drubbing of Argentina, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine rebounds (five of which were on the offensive glass).

In the United States' massive win over Nigeria, Iguodala scored nine points, all of which came from beyond the arc.

While these numbers may not match the likes of Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, Iguodala's production thus far has been very encouraging, and it goes to show what the often criticized superstar could do if he were surrounded with some elite scorers.

Iguodala has been hounded for years by the Philadelphia faithful for his shaky offensive abilities, but he's shown throughout this Olympic tournament that when the pressure is off, he's a more than capable shooter.

Yes, Iguodala will always be at his best when he's running the floor in transition, but this summer has shown what a complete offensive player he can really be.

With just a few slight adjustments to their roster, Iguodala's role will likely not change for a Sixers squad that has been offensively challenged in the past. Shooters Nick Young and Dorell Wright will hopefully provide relief, but expectations should be tempered for now.

Fans may still clamor for a trade of Iguodala, but it's becoming increasingly clear that he has been miscast all along. Iguodala's not a superstar in the most basic sense of the word, but he has the potential to become one of the league's more complete players, even at age 28.

If the Sixers are able to add a superstar in the summer of 2013 to complement Iguodala, (many will point to Chris Paul or Tyreke Evans) opinions could quickly change in the City of Brotherly Love.