Iguodala Winning Over Sixers Fans?
“The thing with Andre (Iguodala), first off we’re so happy for him,” said Sixers forward Elton Brand. “We never lose confidence in him. Never. We have all the confidence in the world in him. I think these playoffs, he continues to show what kind of player he is, and we’re all thrilled for him and us as a whole.”
Iguodala was the ninth overall pick by the Sixers in the 2004 NBA Draft after two seasons at the University of Arizona. He has been a steady player in his eight seasons with the Sixers but has never been considered a star, though he did earn his first career berth in the All-Star Game this season.
Fans have never quite warmed to Iguodala. The callers on the local sports talk shows have constantly wanted him traded. The fans have gasped at his missed shots down the stretch.
This is the first time in eight seasons that Iguodala has advanced past the first round of the playoffs. The Sixers last moved into the second round in 2003.
You can argue that the Sixers wouldn’t be in this position if Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah hadn’t gone down with injuries in the opening round for the Bulls. Yet here they are all tied with the Celtics thanks in large part to Iguodala.
The Sixers’ shots were clanging one by one off the rim Friday, but Philadelphia’s defense was tremendous — anchored, as always, by Iguodala. He finished seventh in the regular season for Defensive Player of the Year. And he earned a standing ovation from the fans during that humongous five-point spurt down the stretch.