That team overcame a lot of talent deficiencies by compensating with high energy on the defensive end.
Without Iguodala as the pointman for that defensive effort, it remains to be seen if this new group of Sixers can make up the necessary distance on a consistent basis.
They certainly didn't against the Knicks, who rode 27 points from Carmelo Anthony and 20 from J.R. Smith off the bench to a 100-84 win at Madison Square Garden.
Last season, New York averaged 87 points while going 2-1 against the Sixers.
On Sunday, they scored 100 for the second time in eight games against the Sixers since Doug Collins took over as coach in 2010-11.
The Knicks shot 50.6 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent (11-for-27) on three-pointers. The Sixers held opponents to 42.7 percent shooting and 33.4 percent on three-pointers last season.
"You're not going to beat anyone if you let them shoot 50 percent," Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday said.
Holiday said the defensive effort was more troubling because a lot of the Sixers' offense is predicated on transition from tough defense.
"I really think we need to pick up our intensity on defense," he said. "That is a vital part of our offense, getting those fastbreaks.
"It's being aggressive. We just needed to be tougher. We needed to be more aggressive. We needed to punch them first and we didn't do that."
It was only the second game, and the Sixers are 1-1. Still, it will be interesting to see how they react Monday night against the Knicks when the teams play the second half of a back-to-back at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers have nine new players on the roster; it's going to take a while for things to come together and the team finds its identity.
A season ago, you could have bet they would have doubled down on the defensive aggression the next game after a disappointing effort like Sunday's.
"I thought [the Knicks] were more aggressive than us," said Collins, whose team had not played since the season opener on Wednesday. "I think the layoff hurt us a little bit.
"I don't think we adjusted to the speed of the game, the physicality of the game early. I'm hoping as we start to play more games it will be better."
There are a lot of changing roles on this team, and one of the biggest may be what occurred on Sunday with forward Thaddeus Young having to guard Anthony.
For the longest time, guarding any opposing No. 1 option in the 6-7 to 6-9 range fell to Iguodala. He forged a nice reputation of being able to do a quality job against some of the most electric offensive players in the game.
If you would have asked me going into the game against New York, I would have said that guarding Anthony probably would have fallen to swingman Evan Turner. But it was Young who drew the challenge of checking the high-scoring Knick.
Athletically, Young, 6-8 and 235 pounds, probably was the best option the Sixers had.
"Definitely difficult matchups," said Young, a hybrid power forward who was more accustomed than Turner to dealing with players with an advantage in size and strength. "It's going to be tough to guard [Anthony, Miami's Le-Bron James, Brooklyn Nets swingman Joe Johnson].
"Those guys are going to be playing the 'three' and sometimes 'four' position. Melo had a great game. He went out there and made shots, but I tried to make it difficult for him. He's going to get a lot of points because he's going to touch the ball a lot and put up a lot of shots, but you just have to keep your body in front of him and try to stay aggressive."
After a slow start, what Young seemed to figure out was that part of defending Anthony meant making him work on the other end.
Young finished with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting.
"Definitely the intention is to try to at least make him work on defense," Young said. "You can't just let him take shots on you and you not even make him work. You have to try and tire him out in some way."
The fact that Young, who has averaged 14.5 points and taken 26 shots in the first two games, is more of an offensive threat right now than Turner might have been the reason why he drew Anthony.
Anthony at least had to worry about defending Young.
Again, it will be interesting to see if Collins, who said he was satisfied with Young's defensive effort, will put him back on Anthony tonight.
That could signal a definite change in the idea of who we thought would inherit Iguodala's defensive role.
If it is indeed going to be Young, that defensive responsibility is not something he's going to be able to shy away from.
"I'm definitely going to have to be in better shape," Young said of having to chase the Anthonys and Jameses while still being effective on offense. "At the end of the day, it's really just about going out there and being aggressive, just keying in on your opponent and knowing their strengths and weaknesses."
Contact John Smallwood at email@example.com.
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