Turns out the Denver Nuggets made the right move in trading
Allen Iverson. The 76ers, meanwhile, desperately need the former
All-Star to justify the second chance he is getting in
Iverson will start for the 76ers in his first home game at the
Wachovia Center in three years Monday night, facing one of his
former teams in the surging Nuggets.
Denver (15-5) thought it had the perfect complement for Carmelo
Anthony in its up-tempo offense when it acquired in Iverson from
Philadelphia on Dec. 19, 2006. The Nuggets, though, lost in the
first round of the playoffs two straight seasons with Iverson, then
traded him to Detroit as a part of a deal for Chauncey Billups on
Nov. 3, 2008.
While Billups sparked the Nuggets to 54 wins last season and has
been an essential part of their hot start in 2009-10, Iverson has
been a bench player for his last two teams.
The 34-year-old guard played most of last season with the
Pistons and complained about his reserve role. He had a similar
experience with Memphis before the team and Iverson decided to part
ways Nov. 16.
A 10-time All-Star, Iverson was brought back by the 76ers (5-15)
on Wednesday, signing a non-guaranteed deal after announcing his
intention to retire the previous week. Named league MVP en route to
leading the Sixers to the NBA finals in 2001, Iverson practiced
with the team Sunday and coach Eddie Jordan said he will start this
“I told him for 14 years I heard how you hate coming out of the
game. Now they’re telling me you’ve got to get him out if he’s
tired,” Jordan said at Monday’s shootaround, laughing. “He’s
going to tell me. The first time I’m coaching Allen Iverson, I am
not taking him out until he tells me.”
Philadelphia needs all the help it can get. The 76ers have lost
nine straight for the first time since a 12-game skid from Nov.
25-Dec. 20, 2006, which was snapped three days after trading
The Sixers are coming off a 106-105 loss to Charlotte on
Saturday night. Andre Iguodala had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven
assists despite turning his right ankle in the first half. He is
not listed on Philadelphia’s injury report.
Willie Green, who had 26 points, isn’t expected to miss any time
after an X-ray on his right hand after the game showed only a
Iverson will likely start in place of Green, who had been
playing point guard alongside Iguodala in the backcourt due to
Louis Williams’ broken jaw. Williams will be out for a couple of
months, while Jrue Holiday, who started five games after Williams
was injured, is day to day with a strained right rotator cuff.
Thaddeus Young, starting at forward along with Elton Brand, will
likely be matched up with Carmelo Anthony for most of this game.
Anthony, averaging an NBA-best 30.4 points, has a chance to become
the only player to score at least 20 points in the first 21 games
of a season since Iverson did it with Philadelphia at the start of
Anthony had 34 points in a 106-99 win over San Antonio on
Saturday night. He has helped the Nuggets win three straight and
seven of eight.
Denver is averaging 110.6 points on the season and 115.0 over
its last eight contests.
Billups averaged 24.0 points and 7.5 assists to lead Denver to
wins in its two games against Philadelphia last season. The Nuggets
won three of their last four road matchups with the Sixers.