In case you have not heard the big news, All Star and future Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson has been traded away from Denver to the Detroit Pistons for another All Star guard in Chauncey Billups (BU BU BU BILLUPS anyone?).
At first word, my thought process was, why would Denver do such a thing? They had arguably one of the best one two punches in all of basketball. The other player in this duo being Carmelo Anthony. But if you really look at it, trading away Iverson was the first step in making Denver into a top team in the Western Conference.
Iverson is the size of a point guard, being just over six feet tall, but his style of play is unorthodox for someone so small. He is third all time and the leader among active players in points per game at 27.9. He has been a 30+ point per game scorer for six seasons. The man can score, problem is he is not the type of player you want to build a team around.
Allen Iverson has been to the finals only once and that was during the 2000-2001 season. He is one of the best players but for his size he should be distributing the ball and letting players like Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, and Nene take over the games. Iverson has always been a favorite of mine to watch, but once he was traded to the Nuggets, the team was screwed.
The Nuggets used to have a real point guard in Andre Miller. He knew of his role which was to handle the ball and give it to Melo and K-Mart and get out of the way. He excelled in this role. The Miller led Nuggets made the playoffs all three years he was there. Coincidence? I think not.
Even though Melo and AI both scored close to 30 a game, fact remains that Melo is the franchise player and not AI. He was supposed to be the other star and he couldn't handle that anymore. When this year started, he was dogging it in games and also dogging it in practice (PRACTICE? We talking about PRACTICE). He was fun to watch as a player but the team no longer was.
Chauncey Billups being here is going to pay ends. You all know that Billups is going to have that extra motivation because he was traded. In Billups' six years in Mo Town, he was in the playoffs every single year. In all six of those years, his team reached the Conference Finals, including back to back trips to the NBA Finals. Billups' team won the 2004 NBA title too, as a little side note.
Trading away Marcus Camby is going to hurt this team when it comes to playoff time. But don't kid yourself, this is going to be a different team now that Billups is here. He can control the game, work the offense and actually take good shots when he's open. He is called Mr. Big Shot don't forget. Billups is what every team wants in a point guard.
Usually NBA teams are built around big guys. If you cannot find a franchise big guy, it is very very important to have an elite point guard. Billups may not be at that elite level anymore but he is still a top three point guard in the league.
AI puts fans in the stands and Billups wins basketball games. Plain and simple Nuggets are the winners of the trade and Nuggets fans will see that when the spring comes around.