Monday, November 03, 2008

Iverson to Detroit

I actually shocked today to hear that the Pistons made a trade:
The Pistons and the Denver Nuggets have finalized a trade that sends guard Allen Iverson to Detroit in exchange for Pistons mainstays Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess.

That's a really good trade for... the Nuggets.

Obviously, Iverson-to-Detroit is the big story here, but I really don't see how much better the Pistons actually get. First of all, Iverson dominates the ball and he's notoriously difficult to play with. The Pistons are breaking up a TEAM to take on a shoot first point guard; the Pistons have enough other talent (Sheed, Prince and Rip Hamilton) that AI can't constantly have control of the ball. The Pistons now have the skinniest backcourt in basketball and I can't imagine that'll help them on the defensive end. Plus, your now trusting your rookie head coach to deal with both Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. Good luck with that.

Now, could this work out? Of course. The Pistons could gel really well together and their talent could push them past the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2005.

But right now, as a Cavs fan, I feel that while this makes Detroit a much tougher single game matchup, it doesn't really worry me for an entire series. AI can go off at point in time, and I don't trust the Cavs to be able to stop him on a random night in February. But I do trust Mike Brown and co. to find a way to stop Iverson over an entire seven game series.

And to be honest, I see this as a better trade for the Nuggets. They get to add proven winners around Carmelo Anthony and it's not like they were going anywhere with AI anyways. Plus, I've never really been a huge AI guy to begin with. I loathe shoot first point guards like you cannot believe (well, when you grow up playing center...) and I've never felt he's played 'winning' ball (sure, he made the Finals, but that team was A) completely built around him shooting 90 times a game B) in one of the crappiest conferences in the history of the NBA).

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how this trade really pushes Detroit over the top.

4 comments:

Erik said...

The only way this trade really helps Detroit short-term is they now have a legitimate go-to guy in the fourth quarter. That is, if the rest of the Piston players are willing to let Iverson be the go-to guy.

The Detroit philosophy is team-first, team defense, team offense, sum greater than the parts. Now, they have one of the league's most legendary ballhogs. Remember how everyone said Melo would have been a terrible fit for the Pistons had they opted for him instead of Darko in '03? Now, we sort of get to see if they were right. AI, like Melo, is a ball-dominating scorer.

Can't envision Sheed being too crazy about that. Sure, AI will go to great pains to get everyone involved early on, but when the shit really hits the fan, he'll be Mr. Isolation.

The Pistons will end up with a ton of cap room out of this deal, but free-agent signing binges don't always work out. See Ferry, Danny; Summer 2005.

Even if the Pistons somehow landed LBJ and Bosh, or Bosh and Wade, or whatever, it's no guarantee of anything. Remember when the Magic nabbed Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady in the same offseason? How'd that working out for ya, Orlando?

Ben said...

Sure, this will help their cap room for 2010, but the Cavs are in the exact same boat. I really don't see the basketball side of this working out for Detroit. Maybe they just want the cap space and a shake up.

I dunno.

Again, if LeBron leaves for LA or NYC, there's nothing the Cavs can do. But they can put themselves in the best shape basketball-wise. And with Wallace and Z becoming expring deals next season (and Wally this year), the Cavs have set themselves up nicely for the Offseason of Doom.

Erik said...

Anything involving LBJ to Detroit is pure garbage. He's not going to the Pistons.

If he goes to LA or NYC, he gets the total package. Mindless amounts of adoration coupled with electron microscope-caliber scrutiny of his personal life. All LBJ has to do is watch E! or VH1 for an hour to get an idea of how the paparazzi treats celebrities in the big city.

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