What a show it was.
Iverson put the fans in the seats in Philadelphia, as a sellout crowded greeted Iverson's return. During the pregame introductions, Iverson kissed the Sixers logo at half court, showing his love for the city that he is so glad to be reunited with.
For three quarters, the 76ers were in control. Philadelphia played team basketball led by Andre Iguodala. From the start of the fourth quarter, the Nuggets were on a mission and took it to the Sixers—pulling away and leading comfortably late in the game. It's only one game, but now the Sixers have lost ten straight games.
So let's analyze what the Sixers have here.
Iverson played a solid game: 11 points, six assists, and five rebounds. He played a good team game. He didn't dominate the ball or take the most shots. He probably was too unselfish at times. It seemed as if he was making a conscious effort to get his teammates involved. It was a good sign after nearly every expert and analyst has said he dominates the ball too much to help a good team. He didn't do that tonight and he's capable of not doing that and helping any team win basketball games.
Iguodala played a great game tonight for the Sixers. He was helped by Iverson taking some of defense's focus so they couldn't just key in on Iggy like they had been with the Sixers lacking scoring options. With the injuries to Lou Williams and Marreese Speights, defenses had been focusing in on stopping Iggy and Iverson can help him get better looks. Iguodala scored 31 points and hit four three-point shots.
Dalembert rebounded well (15 rebounds) and blocked four shots. Iverson's ability to beat his defender one-on-one can help Sammy score. This was evident in the game as Sammy's defender came to help stop Iverson, thus leaving Sammy Dalembert open for dunks in the paint.
Elton Brand played a solid game, but seemed to struggle in the paint against the shot blocking big men of Denver. He put up a solid stat line, but wasn't as efficient as he can be for this team.
Thaddeus Young showed the explosion and energy he plays with. Scoring 20 points, he is another legit scorer for the Sixers have on the offensive end. When he gets matched up on a power forward, he can beat the defender one-on-one with ease.
The Sixers are an improved team with Iverson. They will continue to improve once he gets more used to his teammates and where they want the ball. Let's all remember that Iverson hasn't played a game in 34 days and has had only one practice with the team.
There's plenty of room for improvement, but I think the outcome of tonight's game showed more positives than negatives.
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