The 2009-2010 NBA season has seen numerous surprises throughout thus far. Some of the surprises include:
- Gilbert Arenas being suspended for the season
- Brandon Jennings playing better than some expected
- The Atlanta Hawks continuous rise
- Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rocket situation
- Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers reuniting
Certainly some amazing things have gone on, and those are just some of them. Probably the most interesting is Allen Iverson returning to the team where he became the megastar basketball player he is today in the NBA.
Since his return, the 76ers as a team, and some individuals have shown tremendous improvements, and finally, as well deservingly, the fingers being pointed for the success are towards Allen Iverson. Yes, for success!
I know, it sounds strange since for his whole career the media has tried to create this idea of Iverson as an anti-team player, someone you can not win with as the main option.
Especially in recent months. Iverson was getting placed in lose-lose situations (until now) that mainly had less to do with him, more so with bad coaching, systems and styles that do not parallel (Iverson-Pistons), and more. Iverson actually did everything he was asked to do. However, the critics began to make out the situation as something that had to do with Iverson: he was slowing down, he is a team killer, he is a ball hog, he is a bench player.
Absolutely ridiculous and false remarks had been coming up. This all affected the image of Iverson in the eyes of many, including the league, its fans, and media. It did so to extreme levels, as to where some general managers were bashing him.
This is a story that needs a lot of explanation, observation, etc, to fully grasp what happened and is happening. I could write about it, but that is a story that I may touch on another time perhaps.
Back to the Iverson-76ers things.
"The Answer" has certainly come up with big answers to many problems. Iverson has had a great effect on the court as an individual, and off the court as well.
Samuel Dalembert is playing like a rebounding and defensive machine, he is even putting up good offensive numbers since the return of A.I.
Elton Brand is getting his form back. He is scoring, hitting jumpers, crashing the boards, and playing with intensity.
Andre Iguodala is getting much easier looks. He now has more opprotunities to post defenders up.
Louis Williams and Jrue Holiday have not been getting pressured as much, and are seeing easier scoring opprotunities.
Rodney Carney has shown he is more than a slasher, but can hit outside shots, as well.
All of these things have begun to happen since Iversons return, and they are no coincidence.
The majority of the reason has been pointed towards Iverson. Brand, Williams, Iguodala, Dalembert, the coach; Eddie Jordan, have raved about Iversons game, presence, his leadership, his intensity, spirit, and more.
The Sixers record is not great right now, 15-29, Win-Loss. Although that should change depending on tonights result in the game against the Milwuakee Bucks.
That is 10-14 since Iversons return. Half of those games have been very close, and if it were not for some bad coaching decisions in late game situations, those loses could have been wins.
The swagger of the team is just different.
People, do not try and tell me Allen Iverson is not great player. Iverson has not posted his usual hall of fame numbers, thus far into the season that is. However, it is no where even close to statistics. One must truly understand the game to know what I mean. In terms of all-star game, Iverson has not had "all-star numbers"...whatever that means. Allen Iverson has had an all-star effect, though.
A.I is not 100% yet, but in the limited shots he is getting, he has excelled. If the 76ers were to do what I believe they should (have Iverson shot at least 17-20 shots a game) then Iverson could have similar stats to what he had as a Denver Nugget in 2007-2008 (remember, when many would include Iverson in their top 5), and be a winning team.
I do not really think Iverson has lost anything in his game. Once he gets his form back, he could prove to play the best basketball he ever has. Sure, he may not be exactly as fast as he was a few years ago, but he is still among the fastest and quickest there are, surely top 5. I am not saying that it is a fact, but I am definitely not ruling it out, not even close.
As for the Milwuakee Bucks, they have seen good surprises and not so good surprises.
On the good note, Brandon Jennings is playing better than some expected. Personally, I think he has been getting a bit overrated since his 55 point performance. He comes with good assets, but also the liabilities such as bad field goal % and turnovers to name some so far. Yet he is still a fun player, who plays the pick and roll well.
Another good thing is that Andrew Bogut has stayed healthy, and is having a very good season, so good, that he gets some all-star game consideration on my part.
As for some of the bad, the Bucks arguable best player Michael Redd, is out for the season, and did not play many games healthy.
The Bucks still have a 18-25 record, although they have toned down since there big start in November.
Recently, they have added Jerry Stackhouse, and he has played well in his first 4 games back.
These two teams are battling tonight in Milwaukee.
They played once, and it was Brandon Jennings NBA debut. The 76ers came away as the winners, and have not lost to the Bucks in a while.
It is an interesting match-up, but the story could be Allen Iverson vrs Brandon Jennings.
Yes, Iverson is Philadelphia 76ers best player.
No, Brandon Jennings is not the Bucks best player.
That is not why I say, Iverson vrs. Jennings is an interesting match-up.
However, what is interesting is the fact that each are little guys in the NBA, and Brandon Jennings has crafted his game from watching Allen Iverson.
You see, Allen Iverson is the man Brandon Jennings has idolized. A few weeks ago, when Iverson announced that he planned on retiring, Jennings was saddened by that. He claimed that he would love to play against Iverson, and he hoped that Iverson would return. Well, Iverson has returned, and these two are set to play one another tonight.
I expect Brandon Jennings to play with some jitters and butterflies at first, since he is playing ALLEN IVERSON for the first time! If he starts to knock down some shots, and the crowd gets excited, Jennings could have a good game, he probably is erking for one because of being on the same court as his favorite player: Allen Iverson.
I expect Allen Iverson to have a great game, mainly if he gets into a rhythm and keeps putting up shots. If he settles for distributing and not being aggressive enough, and only shoots occasionally he may not find a rhythm against the Bucks defense.
However, if he remains in attack-mode throughout (especially in the crucial moments, IVERSON--DO NOT DIFFER that is how the 76ers will win!) then Iverson could explode.
Think Iverson is slowing down? Check this, in the last 7 games Iverson has played in Milwaukee, he has averaged 35.4 points per game.
Allen Iverson has a history of absolutely torching the Milwaukee Bucks throughout his career, as a 76er, Nugget, and Piston. In the 2001 playoffs, he scored multiple amazing 40 point games in a 7-game-series.
The past few season, Iverson has scored over 40 and 50 points in numerous games against the Bucks, adding big assist and steals numbers as well. Iverson is one of, if not the leading scorer in NBA history against the Bucks.
All in all, it should be an entertaining game between these two teams.
I think it is crazy people have compared Jennings to Iverson. Their games are similar, but different as well. Iverson is just too great of a player for Jennings to be compared to in terms of how good he is.
Hopefully it is a great, exciting, fun game tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers vrs. Milwuakee Bucks, 8:00 pm eastern start, in Milwuakee, Wednesday January 27th 2010.
It is the veteran vrs the rookie, Allen Iverson vrs. Brandon Jennings.
Brandon Jennings could come out with some good moves. However, we may see Allen "The Answer" Iverson show Brandon Jennings just why he is his idol, and that Iverson remains the alpha dog!