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Old 12-20-2006, 08:49 PM   #8
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I'd put the Spurs as the best team once the playoffs roll around, although the standings might flesh out as Dallas, Phoenix, Spurs, Lakers, Nuggets, Jazz.

The Nuggets are now in the class of Dallas and Phoenix. I think Iverson will mesh well with Carmelo Anthony and even J.R. Smith to an extent. Smith might get less looks, but he is going to get MUCH better looks.

I like this team much better than I like the Suns, but that hinges mainly on Amare Stoudemire. If Stoudemire continues to perform the way he has recently, that might change. Down low, the Suns will likely be a better club. But, they're going to be a running team and you put Iverson into the Steve Nash role of things and Iverson will be a huge step up from Andre Miller in that regard.

Iverson has always created open shots for teammates, he just never had teammates that could finish those open shots. When they first got Chris Webber in Philadelphia, Iverson went out of his way to try to involve Webber into the offense. There were flashes where things looked like they could work out, but frankly, it took so much to get Webber into the offense that no one else got involved in the offense. That won't happen in Denver. Aside from that, Carmelo Anthony is better than any other sidekick Iverson has played with and J.R. Smith is better right now than Stackhouse, Larry Hughes, Robinson ever were.

It's a very unique position for Iverson and I think he'll excel. I think some point don't see him as a point guard or a ball distributor, I just don't think they've seen Iverson play enough. The shots per game obviously doesn't give you that indication, but shots per gam in this situation doesn't tell the entire story. Again, when Webber came to Philly, he thought they could win with him, so, he got him the basketball, deferred to him, Webber didn't get it done. But, Iverson's first instinct was to go out of his way to get Webber into the offense.

What I expect out of Iverson in Denvery will be a better, more talented version of Chauncey Billups from the Piston Championship runs of the past few years..
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