PHILADELPHIA — Normally even the mention of Andre Iguodala’s name in connection with the Raptors is enough to drive the mildest Toronto basketball fan into a frenzy.
Raptors fans hear Iguodala and immediately the lumbering visage of a Rafael Araujo, the guy then-GM Rob Babcock and the Raptors selected one pick of ahead of Philly’s choice Iguodala comes to mind.
But even scoring a game-high 33 in Sunday’s loss, Iguodala was more than tolerable because it was his poor shot selection in the final 26 seconds that helped seal the win for the Raptors.
Trailing by three and inbounding from the Raptors end of the court, the pass to Iguodala at the top of the three-point arc went over his head and headed toward the sidelines.
Iguodala chased it down and with Chris Bosh on him and still looking at a full shot clock turned and heaved up a prayer that barely hit iron and was rebounded by Sonny Weems.
The Sixers were forced to foul and four Jarrett Jack free throws later, two of them finding the mark, the game was all but over.
Iguodala’s decision to go for an out-of-control three from well behind the three-point line left plenty of watchers scratching their heads.
“I don’t know what he was thinking,” Antoine Wright said of Iguodala. “He’s a great player. He did everything he could (Saturday) but I think maybe he just rushed his shot. He had a matchup that favoured them and I think he got a little ahead of himself.”
Iguodala, himself chose to give Bosh the credit.
“Bosh was guarding me throughout the whole overtime and he really would not let me catch the ball,” Iguodala said. “He was pretty much on me so I got some open space. I took it and you pretty much just got to let it go.”
Raps head coach Jay Triano tried to make a case for taking that shot but even had a hard time convincing himself it was a smart play when all the factors were taken into consideration.
“Let’s face it, three-point shots are easily rebounded by both offence and defence so they may get it back,” he said. “If it goes in, we have a ball game; if it doesn’t, you extend the game like they did. It might not be that bad a play to take a quick three, but I was surprised at the distance.”