Sixers captain Andre Iguodala mimicked his Game 1 performance by going 2-for-8 and dishing out seven assists and was out played by rookie shooting guard Evan Turner who poured in 15 points on 3-of-3 shooting from downtown and six rebounds.
On the heels of those two back-to-back sub par playoff performances in which he's tallied four and five points on missing 11-of-15 shots, speculation will undoubtedly be born about whether Philadelphia should seriously consider dealing their year swing man.
So with that being said, here are a few points to consider about Iguodala and his impending departure:
Of all the possible choices at #2 that made countless scouts and other NBA coaches salivate, Coach Doug Collins specifically wanted Evan Turner and boasted about leadership and how NBA ready he was. Heading into the draft, questions were already risen about how the two would mesh together because of their striking similarities as polished players who can quarterback a team's offense, play in the post, and rebound at an effective rate. However they also lacked a requisite and adequate perimeter jump-shot and with them on the floor together would limit a dimension of the Sixers' offense.
However, one thing and one thing only helped him out of the frying pot: the belief the Sixers stood a real shot of reaching the postseason. In essence, the playoffs saved Andre Iguodala's standing on the team. For Philadelphia, why detonate a team that stands a chance to make the playoffs, use that momentum as a driving force to build upon next season, and generate extra revenue and resuscitate a fan-base?
With a playoff sweep courtesy of Miami fast approaching, now is the time to begin to prepare for the off season and either begin to field offers or set a price, i.e. a first rounder, young talent and cap relief.
Because of the East's cerebral deficiencies, the Sixers can still make the playoffs even if they're refreshing the structure of their team: exhibit A, the Indiana Pacers.
If you need any more evidence, chew on this fact: Over the last 10 years, an average of 35 wins (34.8 to be precise) secured the eighth seed. With a late lottery pick coupled with their current squad, 35 wins is certainly achievable.
And with building blocks Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and by going out on a limb, Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia already has three potential starters who are perimeter-challenged with no room for fourth or extra minutes off the bench for one. Sandwich that with the fact that Holiday and Turner are credible ball-handlers and that makes Iguodala the odd man out.
If the Sixers want to better equip themselves in the increasingly tough Eastern Conference, they must deal their last star player they've had since the original A.I. once the season ends.
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