November 5, 2008
With the Iverson debacle concluded and his name extradited from the Nuggets' locker room, Denver can finally begin rebuilding—thanks to Chauncey Billups.
Billups is a truer image of a point guard, and will begin to purify and instill pass-first initiatives, whereas Allen Iverson failed.
Iverson created a schism between George Karl's methods and his own personal ideologies and style of play.
He also was incapable of playing defense, electing to dogtrot until the offense resumed.
Iverson's lack of size hurt the Nuggets on defense. His six-foot stature at shooting guard was by far the most diminished in the league at the position.
Along with Anthony Carter, Denver had the shortest guards in the league, with Carter ironically being the taller of the pair.
Many fail to realize that with Chauncey, the Nuggs' now have the tandem of Billups (6'4") and presumably J.R. Smith (6'6") at shooting guard, boosting their backcourt size to one of the tallest in the league.
Billups has made three consecutive All-Star appearances (dating back to 2006) and averaged 17 ppg, 6.8 apg, 1.3 spg, and shot free throws at a 91.8 percent rate last season.
Because of the newfound growth spurt, Denver will improve on defense and be able to effectively match up against opponents—as opposed to the Lakers-Nuggets first round matchup in which Iverson was bullied by Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher.
Lethal guard J.R. Smith will see an increase in his role in Denver's rotation as the starting shooting guard. Given the proper amount of playing time, Smith is an explosive, multifarious assassin that can reduce the effect of The Answer's departure.
Newly-shaven superstar Carmelo Anthony will also benefit from the arrival of the Denver native. Anthony will be able to choose his own shots and where they're positioned at on the floor, no longer forced to be stationed on the outskirts of the perimeter. He will feed off of Billups immaculate leadership and passing.
The benefits though will also trickle down to the remaining starters—Kenyon Martin and Nene. Both are agile big men who will learn to be more efficient in a more tranquil offense.
Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkienstein orchestrated the trade after only 144 minutes into Denver's season, though many thought ideas of an Iverson trade wouldn't begin brewing until weeks before February's trade deadline.
Luckily, Mark executed the deal early in the year, allocating ample amount of time for Billups to undergo team-bonding and chemistry.
Billups makes his first start in a Nuggets uniform since the '98-99 season Friday at home against the Mavericks.
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