Postgame Spread
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flags Fly At Half-Mast In Philadelphia    

Well, that's that.



(I'd make that face too if I got traded to Denver.)

My first thought, apart from "wow, that didn't cost them ANYTHING," is whether Iverson and Carmelo Anthony can co-exist. Melo's game isn't an "involve all the teammates" type game. In fact, his and A.I.'s shoot-shoot-shoot mentality are kinda similar. One of them will have to adapt, and my money's not on Iverson.

On the other hand, A.I. has never had a teammate as good as Carmelo, so it's not fair to assume they won't get along. And they may be able to bond... Melo's going through the exact same character assault as Iverson dealt with in the mid-90's.

Also smart of Denver to replace Melo and J.R. Smith's scoring for the next month. Now they actually have a chance to compete in those 14 games. Cunning stunt by Denver.

As for the Sixers... dear lord. They've officially entered the Greg Oden sweepstakes. I really feel terrible for their fans. I may think Philly fans are awfully obnoxious (except Chas and Kabir) as a general rule, but nobody deserves this. Seriously. This is like trading Brett Favre. You just don't do it. And if you do, your career as a general manager is over.

Perhaps it's time for Sixers fans to go into Detroit Lions mode. They could stay completely silent all game long in protest of ownership's management of the team. But I suspect Sixers fans would just assume stay home. As would I.

5 Comments:

  • It would be nice if this meant Iverson could embrace the PG transition once Melo comes back, since he's finally playing with the one guy he can really count on to hit the big shot instead of him. It's an interesting pairing, particularly if Simmons is to be believed that Melo is the best pure scorer in the NBA. We sure know he's clutch. I wonder if he can get along with Coach Karl.

    Chas likes this trade for Philly, and based on his reasoning I agree. I'll let him explain it though.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 11:48 AM  

  • I'm not happy he left, but it was time. They weren't able to build around him, they weren't able to get rid of everyone else (again); they needed to start blowing it up.

    They weren't going to get the deal they wanted (at least one interesting young player, at least one 1st rounder, an expiring contract), but the deal they got was better than I thought they'd get. They got a PG whose contract expires in two years to completely replace Ollie, an expiring deal on a guy who can back up Webber now that Shavlik is out for the season, and the big prize: two first rounders (albeit low first rounders) in a deep draft. They didn't give up Dalembert, Korver or Iguodala, so they get to see what they have in them for the rest of the season. And they have Webber and Miller, two good passers, getting them the ball.

    Also, they didn't improve their team much, which is good if they want to keep their own pick, let alone win the Oden sweepstakes (I was actually starting to think King wasn't a complete idiot until I saw this story).

    As a Sixers fan, I'm curious to see what they have this season, next season could be interesting with their young players, and the season after that, they're free of all but three of their players. Not bad.

    As for the Nuggets, I was a bit skeptical too, especially since the dream was always to see Garnett and Iverson together (albeit in Philly). However, John Hollinger from ESPN had some interesting things to say about the pairing:

    1. "The system fits. Putting Iverson with Carmelo Anthony works a lot better than, say, pairing Stephon Marbury with Steve Francis, because this duo scores in very different ways.

    Iverson wants the ball at the beginning of the play so he can go off the dribble and create; 'Melo is end-of-the-play guy interested in finishing. The only change required is that Iverson will have to pass a bit more and shoot a bit less, but we're not talking about radical surgery for a guy who's averaged better than seven assists per game the last three seasons.

    And beyond that, Denver doesn't need to change a thing. The Nuggets already are the league's fastest-paced team, so we won't see the scenes in Philly with Iverson jetting out on the break while Chris Webber gamely tries to drag his leg down the court.

    Earl Boykins
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    Boykins may have a tough time finding minutes and shots with A.I. around.

    Additionally, the Nuggets already had two players who shared traits with Iverson: a lead guard with a shaky outside shot (Miller), and a mini-Iverson (Earl Boykins, coming off the bench). As a result, Iverson will fit into George Karl's system as seamlessly as any player in the league could, especially since he can spend his first 13 or 14 games gunning at will before Anthony comes back from suspension.

    And unlike some coaches, Karl doesn't seem to have a big problem working with players who are perceived as difficult."

    2. Less Boykins is more. The guy who'll see his shots reduced the most is Boykins who is "...shooting 37.0 percent from the floor, has upset teammates with his poor shot selection, [and] is on the trading block..."

    3. Big fit. "Look at the types of big guys the Nuggets have. There's Marcus Camby, who doesn't need to have any plays called for him and gets all his points on transition, offensive boards and kick-out jumpers. There's Eduardo Najera, who scores on hustle plays, sets bone-jarring screens and otherwise stays out of the way.

    And then there's Reggie Evans. I don't think there could be a more perfect fit than putting Evans on a team with Iverson and Anthony. All those two guys want to do is shoot it, and all Evans wants to do is gather the misses.

    Evans ranks second in the NBA in Offensive Rebound Rate behind Indiana's Jeff Foster, grabbing an amazing 16.4 percent of the misses when he's on the court."

    If you have ESPN Insider, the rest of the article, or at least the few sentences I didn't quote, are here.

    By Blogger chas, at 1:17 PM  

  • Uh, scratch the "Earl Boykins
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images" stuff. I accidentally copied that in when I was cutting and pasting from the article.

    By Blogger chas, at 1:18 PM  

  • I really liked Reggie Evans in Seattle. Despite the ball-grabbing incident, I'm glad to hear him getting good press.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:31 AM  

  • I realized that we've spent more time this week talking about Gil Meche than Allen Iverson. That's messed up.

    Having thought a bit more, I'm warming to this trade from the Philly side. This is mostly due to knowing that an entire class of would-be high school draftees was forced out of last year's draft and into this one. Since that new shit has come to light, I like the dual #1 thing a lot more, even though they're low... because they're not that low this year.

    Also, if you take Iverson away from the team, they're going to suck no matter what, so you might as well make a move that benefits the organization going forward... hence, a point guard, an expiring contract, and two picks in what figures to be a deep, deep draft.

    Now the only thing left to do is find a GM who won't spend all of this cap space on long-term deals for Kenny Thomas and Brian Cardinal.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 9:58 AM  

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