Iverson-Billups Three Months Later
So how many of you thought this trade would end up like this? To me it seems like it's gone the opposite way of which I expected it to.
I expected Chauncey to go to Denver and do good, but not this good. I would've expected Iverson to go to Detroit and help maintain the Pistons as an East power. Both results are somewhat surprising.
Lets go ahead and start with the Iverson side.
When Iverson was traded to the Pistons, it brought many emotions. A little excitement, questioning, and just a lot of buzz in general. It was supposed to bring back the excitement the Pistons were missing after being knocked out of three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. Also in part to clear cap space after this year as Iverson surely won't get another 20million dollar deal. Nor will he be a Piston next year, you can quote that.
Many thought Iverson would bring the offensive punch to a defensive minded team. However Detroit has struggled and is just (21-21) since Iverson joined losing 9 of their past 12 games. Now is it Iversons fault or is it the Pistons? I don't want to say it's Iversons. Everyone keeps calling him a cancer. That's not the case, he's very one dimensional true. But the Pistons haven't let him loose to do what he does best. Score the ball. Iverson can still average 30 a night if given the opportunity. With Carmelo Anthony in Denver he still averaged 25 plus a night plus he was getting 5-7 assists a night. Not bad production. He took a lot of bad shots but made a lot of those too. Iverson is a point guard and the Pistons need to let him play that. He is better at being the leader then most people think. He wants to win just as much as anyone on the floor on any given night. Bring Stuckey off of the bench and let Iverson do his thing. He does need to give the ball up a little more if that were to happen. But if he gets doubled that means either Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton or Prince is open. Those guys are more then capable of knocking down a shot. So although the Pistons have struggled so much since getting him, they can also turn it around if Curry gives the game ball to Iverson and lets him run free. If it doesn't work, Iverson is gone after the summer anyways. What do you have to lose??? Nothing. Exactly.
Now to the Billups side, which is much easier to talk about. Denver loved Iverson and so did his teammates. They just couldn't convince George Karl of the same thing. One problem with that is that Iverson didn't know how to back down and let Melo and J.R. Smith lead the way. Yes the Nuggets were bounced from the first round twice with him but they still won 50 games last year. When's the last time they did that?? Just checking.
With Billups now, George Karl has a true PG who can spread the floor and score when he needs to. He is a proven leader something Iverson wasn't. Since Billups arrival the Nuggets have gone (30-13). Not bad, you give them that record and they are 2nd in the West (currently 3rd) and are only a couple games behind the big 4. The Nuggets started out (1-3), 2 of those games without Iverson, 2 without Melo. So it's obviously apparent how much the demeanor has changed on this team since he came to town. The defense ranks in the top 10 in efficiency even after losing 06-07 DPOY Marcus Camby. Every critic had them buried after they got rid of him, guess what, they've only gotten better and will continue to do so. Really there's not too much more you can say about Billups in this trade beside the fact that his leadership has brought trust of this team back into the city of Denver and also some W's too. Now maybe with another low post player he can bring Denver a championship in the next few years.
So who got the better of the trade? The Nuggets, but don't give up on the Pistons.