Soaring Iguodala taking the Sixers with him

Call him Mr. Triple-Double. 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala has reached the magical NBA milestone in three of the last seven games, including the last two in a row.
Call him Mr. Triple-Double. 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala has reached the magical NBA milestone in three of the last seven games, including the last two in a row.
Posted: March 08, 2011

Andre Iguodala was watching NBA TV following Sunday's 125-117 overtime win over the visiting Golden State Warriors when the announcer said something that stunned the seventh-year 76ers swingman.

On Sunday, Iguodala had a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The announcer said it was his second in a row and third in seven games.

Iguodala knew about the previous triple-double - 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in Friday's 111-100 win over visiting Minnesota.

He had forgotten about Feb. 16, in a 114-105 win at Houston when Iguodala had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

"At first I didn't know where the third one came from, and then I remembered Houston," Iguodala said after a light workout on Monday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine before the team departed for Indianapolis and Tuesday's game against the slumping Pacers. "We have been winning, and hopefully if it helps get wins, that is all that matters."

The fact that he has three recent triple-doubles is significant, especially since Iguodala has just seven in his career.

Coach Doug Collins has given Iguodala more ballhandling responsibility lately. Iguodala entered Monday ranked fourth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.35. The only players ahead of him are three point guards - Toronto's Jose Calderon (4.29), Chris Paul of New Orleans (4.21), and Jason Kidd of Dallas (3.68)

"Dre has done a great job and made a conscious effort to be good at it," Collins said about cutting down turnovers. "It has helped Jrue [Holiday], helped Evan [Turner] and helped all our guys."

Iguodala is averaging 6.3 assists and 1.9 turnovers. The previous four years he has averaged 2.6 or more turnovers per game.

He says the reduction in turnovers has come from the coaching staff's insistence on taking care of the ball.

"I am trying to make the simple play, and when you have a young group, the tendency is to make the home run play," Iguodala said. "You get in trouble a little bit, so I am trying to set the example."

What hurt Iguodala in previous years is that he too often tried for the home run play.

Indiana's interim head coach, Frank Vogel, was a Sixers assistant in Iguodala's rookie season, 2004-05. Vogel believes that Collins has had a profound impact on Iguodala.

"Coach Collins has Andre playing with a great deal of confidence," Vogel said Monday.

Vogel, a 1991 Wildwood High graduate, also said that Iguodala is playing a complete game.

"We always felt he was an excellent defender and rebounder, and now he is being more assertive," Vogel said.

Iguodala is also healthy, which has contributed to his play. He missed a total of six games in his first six seasons but has been sidelined for 12 games this season with right Achilles tendinitis. Since his recent time off, Iguodala has played in 25 straight games.

Notes. The Sixers (32-30) have won six of their last seven and 15 of 20. . . . Pacers sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy is out with a fractured left thumb. Dunleavy scored 15 of his 20 points in the first quarter of the last meeting between the teams, a 111-103 Pacers win over the host Sixers on Jan. 11.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-322 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.

 

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