In December when the Philadelphia 76ers sent Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two draft picks, many analysts thought they got fleeced. They argued that Iverson was a perennial All-Star, who was getting around 30 points a game and happened to be the face of the Sixer franchise. Those same hacks went on to place the Nuggets among the league’s elite, saying they would challenge the Suns for the Western Conference title, once Carmelo Anthony and Iverson stepped on the floor together.
So how’s that “dynamic duo” doing anyway?
Well, to this point they’ve looked more like Ace and Gary than Jordan and Pippen (lots of congratulatory ass slapping, few results). Right now the Nuggets sit at 30-31, in seventh place in the Western Conference. Since acquiring Iverson in the December 19th trade, Denver is 16-22. To be fair, Carmelo Anthony served a 15-game suspension during A.I.’s first stretch with the team, so that could account for the team’s struggles. But since Melo’s return, the Nuggets are just 6-9 and George Karl has publicly reprimanded Anthony for complaining about his touches and not listening.
And what of Iverson’s former team? Well since they dumped him, the 76ers have a 20-20 record and are currently on a seven game winning streak. Andre Miller has been great at the point and his solid play has allowed Andre Iguodala to develop into a star. The “other A.I.” has emerged as a force on the offensive end and over the last eight games he’s averaging 26.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.5 steals. Those aren’t LeBron’s numbers, they’re Andre Iguodala’s. The kid can ball and without Iverson around, he’s proving it.
The Sixers also now have three first round picks in the 2007 draft, which could be the deepest in league history. Add that to their new found cap-relief, thanks to unloading Iverson’s huge deal, and things look bright in Philadelphia.
Meanwhile in Denver, it looks like the Nuggets will be the first team the Suns make look really bad in the playoffs. Sounds great, I bet Anthony and Iverson will get along swimmingly when they’re getting humiliated by a watered down version of Pete Maravich, a 6’7 goofy-looking forward and four guys (Amare, Raja, Boris and Leandro) who sound like the members of a hip-hop boy band.
Yeah, I’m sure that will sit really well with those two.