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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  67 responses

Allen Iverson is Back; Now What?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Everyone seems to be in agreement that A.I.’s return to the City of Brotherly Love last night meant something.

The stage was set up for him perfectly: a sold out arena, arguably louder than it’s ever been, his former team on the other side of the court, every last detail of the evening mined for significance, and all of the hoops universe’s eyes on this one game.

For a guy who has barely seen the basketball court this season, Allen played fairly well. 11 points, 6 assists, and five boards in 37 minutes of action.

Though the surging Denver Nuggets played a large role in determining the outcome of the game, it did not take too long for everyone to remember just how bad of a team Philly is. Allen Iverson’s addition to the mix is no miracle cure, no matter how badly the fans in Philadelphia may want it to be.

There’s no telling how much more (positive) drama Iverson can help create for the home team. And who knows if the large crowds will continue to come out once the novelty wears off, and people begin to wonder if it’s worth paying to watch a 5-16 team?

For now, the fans and city are in high spirits. Their diminutive hero is back where he belongs. To hold their interest, though, Iverson has a massive task ahead of him.

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  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    I know this is just awful of me to say, but the Sixers were doing great until A.I. went to the bench last night.

  • sixersforlife_85

    Exactly, a lot of talk about how he will save our season but us true fans have only accepted one thing – that he will make this season just slightly more bearable to watch. Personally, I wished we signed Deke instead..

  • Chazz Michael Michaels

    Last night was magical (i watched last night on nbatv) and I loved every minute of it. It was overall a good game. I know that once Allen plays more with the Sixer’s he will get more touches and more shots. I can’t wait!!!!!!

  • Hoodsnake

    Was nice to see him back. Just wondering why they signed him exactly. When the pg comes back after 2 months they gonna have to find a permanent role for him plus its stil relatively early they can sneak into the playoffs and ruin a party

  • http://www.nottherealmelvinely.com melvin ely

    now we watch the circus unfold

  • barnabusb

    “I know that once Allen plays more with the Sixer’s he will get more touches and more shots. I can’t wait!!!!!!”

    And that’s exactly what’s wrong with Allen Iverson fans. This ain’t no 2001, and AI shouldn’t be jacking up shots left and right. He just doesn’t have it any more. Igoudala is the team’s offense, not Iverson.

    That being said, it’s good to see him back in Philly. Could you imagine him in New York? It’s a much better way to finish out his career than on a struggling Pistons, Grizzlies, or Knicks team.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Its going to get better. Anyone who watced the game knows that AI was in defer mode all night long trying to fit and feel out his teamates while getting his game legs. Once that happens they’ll turn it around somewhat and possibly surge into the playoffs last minutes. I look for Iverson to play the least minutes of his career so about 35 and put up about 21 or 22 and 6.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Igudola should not be any teams number one option. And I also think that Iverson will help Brand play better because currently no one on the sixers can create in the halfcourt which means brand has to create his own offense.

  • tavoris

    Brand needs somebody to space the floor in Philly DESPERATELY. Iggy was on fire for most of the game, and seemed to not be surprised by it.

    The game’s complexion changed completely when Ty Lawson started to wreck havoc. He’s clearly one of those players you love to play with, but hate to play against.

  • Clark

    I know I will get pwnd for saying this, but Ty Lawson showed up AI. AI was doing fine until Ty guarded him, got a block, and blew by AI for an easy layup.

    I agree that Iverson seemed to defer, which will change when his legs are back in shape. We’ll see if that ends up good or bad.

  • Hussman25

    I was @ the game last night; The Sixers were playing inspired ball last night; Sam WAS all over the place (blocking, rebounding) Thad was looking aggressive and Dre was makin buckets; but AI’s objective is to be what Brad Lidge is for us in Baseball… THE CLOSER! Iggy is the “starting pitcher/middle reliever” for us and played great thru 3… But he looked too passive in the 4th and this is where AI’s re-acquisition was so key! But AI’s playing like a guy who just wants to be part of a team; but for the Sixers to win he MUST DOMINATE THE BALL IN THE 4TH! By the time Eddie Jordan put AI back in it went from up 2 to down 12… Bad coaching Eddie!

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    I SAY CHAMPIONSHIP WHO IS WITH ME?

  • Kas

    I just cant understand why the 70-suxers are so bad. Willie Greene is a good bench guy, dalembert can rebound and block shots, Brand used to be a beast, Igoudala is a very good 3rd option(which he should be), thaddeus young is pretty good (but his performances swing to much) kapono is a good shooter. With iverson at the point, i expect them to make the playoffs in the east.

  • http://slamonline.com Niya-girl-fresh

    Just like old times baby!! It wasn’t an explosive game but did we expect it to be? It’s not 2000 it’s 2009-2010. He still acceptable in my opinion and that’s all it took. Congrats to Philly fans for getting a piece of their history back.

    He got the braids back and he went and got the Philly Jersey back, that’s all it took.

  • Markiss

    The reason Denver ain’t want him from jump was bcuz he had no D! Ty and Chauncey both hit him up. Da ugly truth is that he is 34 and still tryin 2 play like he did when he was young. His game or attitude at has not evolved and it’s kinda sad.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    I saw the game, was great seeing AI back. I know I shouldn’t be saying this, but I hope he can average at LEAST 17 points per game. Anyways, don’t think too much about this game. Keep in mind Denver IS a GOOD team. But the thing that surprised me the most was the fact Philly is the 2nd worse team in the East. WOW.

  • http://slamonline.com NUPE

    AI played well and really seemed to focus more on getting others involved than taking his own shot. I was surprised by how few touches he got in the 4th. One game in, and no complaints. Once he get’s back into game shape and get’s more time playing with these guys, I’m not sure he’s going to stay quiet about not getting more touches and being more of a second/third option than the first. My guess is that AI is heavily concerned about his legacy as a scorer and won’t stay quiet for too long if he’s not getting his shots and his career averages start to drop.

  • ilovekemp

    I just love shawn kemp…

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The only person who was scoring at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th quarter for Philly was Thad Young. Not exactly sure why Eddie Jordan kept Iverson out for that stretch?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dude was tired. Ty Lawson and Billups were giving him fits when he tried to play defense.
    But, I was impressed with how Igoudala got his. The first year after Iverson left Philly they had a horrible first half of the season and a really good second half. Maybe it happens again.

  • Illydiva

    I was at the game last night, and it was magical in the Wac like back in 2000. @AllenP, I hope you’re right. I’ll give AI a pass for last night, because I’m sure it was emotional for him and he’s not in his best shape. Randoms: My problem with Dre is he has a habit of trying to do too much late in games instead of sticking to the good things he may have done early. I don’t know what got into Sammy last night, but I hope he keeps it up.

  • Tommy Patron

    What was the deal with Billups last night. Seemed like he had some personal feelings he was taking out on AI with his dirty play. He’s a jaggoff anyway, but damn.

  • tavoris

    Tommy-Billups has always played bully-ball. It just was more obvious last night.

  • tavoris

    he didn’t seem to have a personal problem. He was just taking control of his team-as Anthony was clearly off.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    What exactly was Billups doing last night that was dirty?

  • ktokyo

    just wait until his first PRACTICE

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    He was pushing off like crazy, Tad. But it wasn’t anything I haven’t seen Chauncey do in the past.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    lol @ Jukai

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    CB has always used his size and strength as an advantage against smaller gaurds, that’s just his game, it isn’t dirty.

  • http://myspace.com/rsaenz24 RoG23

    Someone said bad coachin by eddie, but everyone said that ai would choose when and when not to be in the game. Also, it seems like ai can’t keep up with younger faster guards. And where is iggys love? He did work in the first half. No one else really made an impact offensively .

  • http://myspace.com/rsaenz24 RoG23

    I saw no dirty play from anyone last night. Except sams blocks. Those were straight FILTHY

  • kudos

    LOL “at someone saying chauncey pushes off”. That is one of iverson’s main moves throughout his career. But anyways, not a good look when the nuggets old pg goes off for 30+ and the backup goes off for 12. Iverson can do whatever he wants, but he still has no defense. That’s about a 40+ points dropped on a.i.’s head, AND THEY LOST>

  • tavoris

    @kudos-nobody’s callin his play dirty.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ tavoris – Tommy Patron posted the following…”What was the deal with Billups last night. Seemed like he had some personal feelings he was taking out on AI with his dirty play. He’s a jaggoff anyway, but damn.” So yes, somebody is in fact calling his play dirty…just sayin…

  • Still ballin

    Sixer was playing good basketball for 3 quarters.. It’s only ai’s first game.. This time will make the playoff.. They will get better!!

  • la huey

    ftl

  • tavoris

    @wayno-piss off. we already cleared up that Billups has played that way for a decade.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Chauncey has used his off arm to clear space for quite some time now. It isn’t dirty; it’s actually quite smart considering he usually has a size and strength advantage over other PG’s.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    damn son, that how you respond when someone calls you out? Maybe you should read other people’s posts next time.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    You said that nobody is callin his play dirty and someone did, no need to get all in a huff about it. I didn’t say you said it. Geez man.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    What’s next? Sack Eddie Jordan. Simple as that, and if any of you muppets defend him you’re either a Whizz fan, which is understandable, or you’re a complete moron.

  • Tommy Patron

    Yeah, I guess “dirty” really wasn’t an apt description. I know how Billups has always played, but, to me, it seemed like he had a personal point to make against AI. After Billups pulled that MJ on Russell move, you could see AI looking up at him, saying, “Damn!”. Of course, Dick Bavetta was crew chief last night, so everyone should have known what was in store.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    Have to add, how epic was it to hear “A 6 foot guard from Georgetown….” Sent shudders down my spine. Where’s some love for Iggy’s full court shot? Like a freakin QB missile

  • tavoris

    @wayno-not sure who wrote that post, but it wasn’t me. @360vue-Rick Kamla gave him the love on that full-court shot. BTW, Kamla should not be giving NBA commentary under any circumstances. He is a “fantasy expert” with a sucky fantasy team. That’s like a “shot doctor” that can’t shoot.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Brand is looking confused out there… What happened to the LA Clippers Brand?!?!

  • natedog446

    boooooooo. why so pessimistic? just enjoy him while he lasts. no reason to ruin the fun until something (undoubtedly) goes seriously wrong.

  • http://yahoo.com shay_boogy

    Someone on here said Denver didn’t want Iverson because he plays no D, the majority of the players on Denver play any D didn’t do it when Iverson was there and still dont. They give up over 102 ppg. I know some people dont like Iverson, but lets stop with the nonsense already.

  • http://yahoo.com shay_boogy

    Also, there isn’t really anything wrong with Iversons physical abilities to play the game..if anything I think is sad is that entirely too many people try to age that dude before his time. People have been claiming Iverson lost a step since he was 30 yrs old..just let the man live for crying out loud. Some bball fans can be mind controled so easily its scary.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    my bad tavoris.

  • Young C

    Actually, the Nuggets went to small ball in the 4th and Iverson and Iguodala were guarding Lawson and Billups. That was when Denver took over the game. If Jordan would have went back to his small lineup of Iverson and Green in the backcourt with Iguodala at the 3(which was successful in the first 3 quarters), they probably would have had a better 4th quarter. But thats been one of Jordans biggest problems. He has a hard time adjusting to what the other team does and he forgets to put certain players back in the game.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    JUKAI. AMEN!!!!

  • tavoris

    @ Teddy-the Sixers have HORRIBLE spacing out there, and that hurts Brand and Dalembert offensively. Hopefully AI can help with that (Kapono finding his J would help 2)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He blew out his Achilles.
    Billups did what he needed to do. Take over.
    And Iverson has always been bad on defense. He wasn’t any worselast night, and he was actually trying on defensive rotations.

  • Shem

    The sixers are just a bad team, they have no pg rotation, elton brand is getting PAID for playing bad and samuel dalembert is just plain stupid. As for Iggy and Young, they re good players but young and not consistent. Iverson doesn’t have much help or should I say Iggy doesn’t have much help

  • M-Blog

    ELTON BRAND IS A BUM..He is too damn slow and has too much chicken grease on his hands ..Why do he drop the ball so much? DAMN.Yes I agree the Sixers STARTED folding once AI was benched ..

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i thought AI played well. he’ll get more assertive with a few games under his belt. quite frankly, the nugs are just a better team, with or without AI.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Iverson looks way out of rhythm, which took a lot of his aggressive nature away from the game. The 6ers are obviously a better team with Iverson. But I gotta say something about how much faster Lawson was then Iverson. I mean I know AI is outta shape, but Lawson made him look YMCA slow a few times

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Cosign on Brand looking lost. The big fella simply is not comfortable out there. I don’t know whether his injury from 2007 is still affecting him, but he looks straight up hesitant and nervous with and without the ball. Damn he used to be as consistent as Duncan…

  • Blaze

    First of the man is the answer. The Sixers could have a good team if the could get Brand da ball, Iggy is doin his thing but where was he in the 4th. That whole defense aspect the man made the all defensive team b4.He gettin his legs back n he is the best person on the team otha than Iggy making there own shot. AI is a plus for them offensively and defensively but its up to the organization to make it a a good season whe Lou Williams comeback but i do see them in the playoffs

  • Robb

    Now the Sixers will continue losing but more people will watch!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I’m just glad he’s back. He’s getting minutes… everyone is happy.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    Allen Iverson return to The city of Brotherly Love makes sense, although I cannot see it being of any significance to the team. The 76ers are a horrible team.

    Period.

    It might sell a few more tickets. That’s about it.

  • http://slamonline.com NUPE

    It will be interesting to see how the team plays when AI is back in shape. But I’m not sure how much better they are with AI than without. They may win 5-10 more games than they would have without him, and I expect that he’ll have one or two 40 pt games that will remind everyone just how good he has been and can be. I don’t expect him to be the AI from just 3-5 years ago, but his solid performance being out of game-shape shows he’s far from out of gas.

  • tavoris

    Brand looks to be moving & jumping really well. But when every defensive player is inside the 3 point line (because outside of Kapono, nobody on the Sixers is an legit outside threat), he has VERY LITTLE room to operate from the mid-post.

  • http://gg aurelio f. garcia

    iverson is the best…. iverson is the number one player here in the philippines…. you gonna make it baby…. go go go go ogo go…. iverson will bring you tothe playoffs.

  • http://gg iggy.

    yeah… iverson is the greatest player ive ever seen…. i love watching nba because of allen iverson…. he made spectacular shots despite his small size.. that awesome…..

  • http://gg mike

    when i started watching nba, iverson is my idol… he is the reason why im watching nba…. when he is not playing i hate watching nba anymore!!!! but for now im so happy my idol got back… your the here in the philippinesss….. your number one here … we love you…

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