That's a trick with a fast-paced team like Karl designs. There are mixed results in the connection between pace and defensive efficiency, but a style of play that focuses on transition naturally puts a strain on players getting back constantly. And with more possessions, the margin of error becomes narrower. But the Nuggets with Iguodala this season have moved to the 13th-ranked defense in the league. That's all Karl wanted when the season began -- to be average-to-better-than-average.
And with Iguodala on the court? The Nuggets surrender just 100.1 points per 100 possessions, better than 8 points fewer than they do with him on the bench.
But wait, there's more! According to Synergy Sports, Iguodala is fifth among players (with 400 minimum possessions) in overall points per possession allowed, he causes the fifth-most turnovers of any player (with 100 possessions) guarding the pick and roll, and most important, he's the second best player in guarding players one on one, in isolation, minimum 50 possessions. He's the only wing player in the top five.
And yet those numbers don't do service to the intangibles or process of the work he does, guarding point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards. He switches from opponent to opponent, pressuring, contesting and making good possessions into bad.