Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good Thing Jim Lynam Doesn't Coach Anymore

During the tail end of the Sixers pregame show last night, Philadelphia native and former Sixers coach (among other teams) Jim Lynam went into a nonsensical diatribe comparing the late-game abilities of Andre Iguodala and Kobe Bryant.

In so many words, Lynam said the fact that Andre Iguodala is willing to trust in and pass to his teammates is an admirable trait when compared to "Kobe trying to shoot over three defenders" instead of deferring to an open teammate. He actually said this. I'm not making that up. Essentially, Jim Lynam sounded as though he'd trust the ball in Iguodala's hands over Kobe's at the end of the game — or at least that Iguodala is a better decision-maker in that instance than Kobe is. That's what I took away from it anyway, and I immediately thought that it's a damn good thing Jim Lynam isn't coaching anymore because that is an absolutely ludicrous thing to say.

Kobe, while his late-game expertise may be overstated according to advanced statistics, has hit many game-winning shots in his career and has five NBA championship rings to validate his clutch play. Andre Iguodala is notorious for not only taking and missing last-second and late-game shots, but taking horrible shots at that. To be fair, it's not as if Iguodala has never come through with a game-winning shot. He has, most notably in the playoffs against the Orlando Magic. But those moments have been few and far between, and to be perfectly honest, he is quite possibly the last "franchise" player in the league I'd want with the ball in his hands with the game on the line. He just doesn't have a good track record in that area.

And wouldn't you know it, last night as the Sixers made a furious fourth-quarter comeback against the Blazers, there was Andre Iguodala with his team down three, predictably launching a shot that failed to go in.

It was almost as if the universe was out to set Jim Lynam straight for saying something so patently absurd. When Kobe has the ball at the end of the game, I expect him to come through. When Andre is in that same situation, I expect him to fail. Anyone with eyes would believe the same thing. Perhaps Jim Lynam has gone blind and none of us have been informed. That's the only logical explanation.

The thing I don't understand about the whole situation is why Doug Collins continues to put the ball in Iguodala's hands there. I know he is the team's best all-around player, able to do many different things. But last season, Elton Brand was the most efficient player on the team, and Lou Williams has been for years the team's most reliable scorer come crunch time. Hell, Sweet Lou was the man who hit the thrilling game-winner against the Heat in the playoffs on Easter Sunday.

He's the guy I want with the ball in his hands when the game's on the line, not Andre Iguodala. I've seen Lou Williams succeed where Iguodala has consistently failed. And Lou especially should have been entrusted with that responsibility last night, when he was the leading scorer and had just nailed a couple of huge threes to bring the Sixers back. He had the hot hand, he's hit big buckets before and he instills infinitely more confidence that he can come through than Iguodala does.

Yet there was Andre, clanking the potential game-tying shot just as everyone not named Jim Lynam expected. That's what makes Andre Iguodala so frustrating. The man can do a little bit of everything, but he just can't carry the load. Time to let someone else try.

No comments:

Post a Comment