November 5th, 2008 by aswitzer
The short-lived AI era is over in Denver. Turns out he was not the Answer, or at least not the answer to Nuggets fans NBA Championship dreams.
The Nuggets had two playoff series with Iverson at guard, and their record for those two series was a dismal total of 1-8.
If you’re like me, you’ve already read a plethora of articles dissecting the trade. In case you just woke up from a 48 hour nap, here’s the details:
Detroit Pistons get:
Guard Allen Iverson and his large, but expiring contract
Denver Nuggets get:
Guard Chauncey Billups
Forward Antonio McDyess
Center Cheikh Samb
Here’s why this trade works well for Denver:
- Despite Iverson’s incredible work ethic, intensity, and toughness, he does not seem to be able to inspire it in other’s. Carmelo Anthony’s upward climb as a top-tier NBA player took a serious hit nearly the instant Iverson arrived – not only flat-lining his growth but taking a few steps backward in some areas.
- The Nuggets had or haveÂ All-Star level talent at shooting guard (Allen Iverson)Â and small forwardÂ (Carmelo Anthony)Â and power forward (Kenyon Martin), and above average talent at center (Marcus Camby and Nene) but they’ve had journeymen running the point (Chucky Atkins and Anthony Carter) since Andre Miller was traded to the 76ers to bring Iverson here. That’s like putting a Yugo engine in your 750i BMW… it may look great, but it won’t run half as good as it looks.
- JR Smith is a raw talent with amazing potential. This is not that untapped potential that never quite comes to fruition… this is potential that has shown itself on numerous occasions in the past few seasons – scoring 43 against Chicago last year, or his play in game 4 against the Lakers in the playoffs. With Iverson no longer in front of him at his primary position, JR will get his change to shine. He may continue to come off the bench for the immediate future, but when this season gets serious in March/April – he’ll get that opportunity to help take the Nuggets to the next level.
- With Chauncey Billups returning home (he played HS and College ball here in town) the Nuggets get a true point guard and floor general back on the court. The kind of guy that can get the ball to the many offensive talents the Nuggets have and take the big shot himself when needed.
- Come on, you knew I had to work in a Mr. Big Shot reference somewhere in this article, right?
On a closing note, after the Camby trade and the way it was handled left a very bad taste in my mouth, a little faith is restored in how the Nuggets handled trading Iverson. Rex Chapman, Nuggets VP of PlayerÂ Personel was on the 104.3 the Fan today and stated that owner Stan Kroenke went out of his way to make sure that he dealt Iverson to a contender and not just any NBA team, because of his respect for Iverson as a player and what the kind of effort he brought to the court each and every game he played for the Nuggets. Iverson’s effort can not be questioned… it’s just too bad that it didn’t translate to more wins and success for the Nuggets as a team.
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