“Andre Iguodala gets the ball at the top of the key in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s motion offense and finds Stephen Curry coming off a screen in the right corner. Swish. Assist Iguodala.
Derrick Rose begins a fastbreak and feeds Kevin Durant on a wing, who throws the ball toward the basket. “I thought it was a terrible pass, but Andre went way up and got it,” Rose said. Slam.
Iguodala gets a steal in his team’s hounding defense, starts a break and finds Durant coasting down the sideline. Durant pulls up and hits his patented, 18-foot jump shot.
Such is life for Iguodala as one of the 15 players in New York trying to secure a spot on a 12-man roster for Team USA, which will compete in the world championships in Istanbul, Turkey, beginning Aug. 28.
Iguodala was impressive in workouts in Las Vegas last month and in the few days the team has spent in New York this week. The burden of having to be the man, as often happens when he is donning a 76ers uniform, is obsolete.
“I basically try to do the same things [as during the regular season], but I have a little more energy,” Iguodala said. “Everybody does. K.D. [Durant] has more energy to score, same with Rudy Gay. Our shooters have a lot of energy to shoot and our defenders spend a lot of time defending. I think everybody is playing to their strength. I really have to play defense. We’re small, so I have to rebound. I really have to focus on that area and just knock down open shots and take care of the ball. Everyone’s game is really simple.”
If Iguodala continues to play to his strengths, which he has been doing throughout the workouts, according to Krzyzewski he will be more than just a good piece to a puzzle that has a lot of really good pieces.
“For us, Andre’s been one of our best players,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s in great shape, he’s in midseason shape. He’s doing the things that come naturally to him that are easier for him most of the time. Like, he’s playing defense. He’s filling a lane, he’s driving the ball, he’s not forcing shots. He’s really been an easy guy to play with. Athletically, he’s as good an athlete we have.
“In doing [those things] you become somewhat dominant. If you go to your skills and they’re as good as anybody’s and you do what you do well all the time and what you do real well is actually terrific, then you become a fantastic player.
“There’s a guy going into the Hall of Fame, Scottie Pippen, who did that to the highest level. Andre’s a little bit like him. I think Andre’s unique. He should celebrate his uniqueness.”
Should he make the team, which could be announced Monday after Sunday’s exhibition game against France at Madison Square Garden, Iguodala certainly will be in a mood to celebrate.”
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