Andre Iguodala and 3 NBA Players Who Will Thrive with New Teams
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With the NBA regular season set to tip off in less than a week, a major storyline will be how recently acquired players perform on their new teams.
Most fans know about the blockbuster trades that sent Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers, but who else is primed to have a huge season thanks to a new team?
Lets take a look at the four players who will thrive with their new rosters.
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Arguably the best pure point guard of his generation, Steve Nash finds himself on the best roster he's ever been on.
Last year with the Suns, Nash averaged 12.5 points and nearly 11 assists per game.
Nash was often very aggressive in getting his teammates going, and he only shot the ball if he was wide open.
Nash rarely if ever forces bad shots, and he's always looking to let others handle the scoring load—which is something Kobe Byrant is more than happy to do.
Nash has flourished on rosters where he had a big man who could run the pick-and-roll effectively, and with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, he will likely continue to make opposing defenses pick their poison.
The Lakers struggled last year finding guards who could jump-start the offense—Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions weren't horrible, but they were not effective floor generals.
Nash can run the break, shoot in transition, shoot off the dribble, run half-court sets—basically everything except play lock-down defense or rebound.
Nash is a phenomenal pickup who will make passing contagious and ensure the offense runs smoothly.
His incredible offensive ability is exactly what the Lakers need at point guard if they're serious about contending for a title this season.
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Dwight has always been known for his highlight reel dunks and vicious blocks, but last season he gained a reputation for being selfish.
After a nasty public feud with former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, Dwight is ready to put it all in the past and have a solid season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwight dominated last year, averaging 20 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks per game last season.
Now being paired with another paint threat in Pau Gasol, Howard will help make the Lakers frontcourt a nightmare for every team in the NBA.
Throughout his career, Dwight has found himself alongside perimeter or jump-shot oriented big men, such as the likes of Rashard Lewis, Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson. Sure, they would occasionally bang on the boards, but these guys were typically hanging around the perimeter awaiting catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Now with a true post threat by his side, Dwight can easily make Pau Gasol's game much easier and vice versa.
Dwight also needs to continue to refine his post moves and his touch around the basket—his 49 percent free-throw shooting isn't going to fly either.
If he wants to get touches in close situations, the Lakers will have to count on him to knock down shots at the line—which was one of the reasons he complained in Orlando about not getting touches later in the game.
Despite some of his offensive flaws, Howard will make an immediate impact on the defensive end.
For the past three seasons, the Magic were in the top five of the best defensive teams in the league as far as opponent's field goal percentage in the paint—thanks in large part to the presence of Howard. Last year, the Lakers were the 19th-best team in that category.
Not great, not horrible, but now thanks to Dwight, it's possible the Lakers will finally play lock-down defense in the box.
Assuming Dwight can stay happy and get along with his coaching staff and teammates, he's going to have a tremendous season wearing purple and gold.
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The dynamic Denver Nuggets offense has officially become even more lethal than it already was.
After leading the league in scoring last season, the Nuggets' high-powered assault now features Andre Iguodala.
Last year, Andre Iguodala averaged 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists for a Philadelphia 76ers squad that at times struggled to score.
Often relied upon in Philly to score in isolation sets, Andre can now flourish as an off-the-ball role player, rather than someone who has to initiate the offense off the dribble.
Iguodala is an incredibly versatile swingman who can guard two positions effectively, make plays for teammates and finish at the basket like few else can.
Where Andre will flourish the most is in the Nuggets' fast paced open-court offense—an offense that seems tailor-made for Andre's game.
With his furious end-to-end speed and elite level of athleticism, Iguodala is going to feel right at home running the break off of turnovers. He also sports a dependable jump shot (he shot 39 percent from behind the arc last season), and he puts a solid effort on the defensive end, averaging around two steals per game—something the Nuggets will love to have in addition to his scoring ability.
He is prone to over-dribbling in the half court, but if he plays within the offense, he will have a tremendous impact on the Nuggets this season.
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Andrew Bynum is set to dominate on the block for a Philadelphia 76ers team that will love to have him on board.
For a team that was ranked 25th in scoring last season, Bynum will help provide a dependable output of buckets for the Sixers.
He averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks as the second or third offensive option on a Los Angeles Lakers team that featured Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant.
Now that he is undoubtedly the primary offensive option, Bynum's numbers will likely explode in the scoring category.
He also finds himself on a team with sharpshooters like Jrue Holiday and Jason Richardson—two players who will love to have a guy like Bynum commanding double teams in the post.
Bynum will also make the game easier for Evan Turner—a young, versatile swingman who shows tremendous promise in numerous facets such as scoring and passing.
Assuming Bynum can stay healthy and not let his alpha dog demeanor (or his penchant for shooting ill advised shots) disrupt chemistry, the Sixers will be a much improved team thanks to his presence.