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Iverson + Scoring Teammates = Lottery!

NBA Statistical Analyst Hans Uy

By Hans Uy

Recently we saw the mega-deal of Denver and Philadelphia, with the Nuggets having to part with Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 1st round draft picks in exchange for Allen Iverson. For Philadelphia, they are already in rebuilding mode and got rid of one of the most expensive contracts in the league, $40m over the next two years not including the rest of Iversonís $18m salary this year. Itís a different story for Denver as they are hoping to build a championship team. With Iverson, they already have a loaded roster that includes the NBAís leading scorer at the time of the trade, Carmelo Anthony, plus JR Smith and Marcus Camby. But the main question is, will it work out?

Letís take a look at Iversonís statistical history. In the last 10 seasons, only Webber (1 season), Glenn Robinson (1 season), Derrick Coleman (2 seasons) and Jerry Stackhouse (2 seasons) have been able to score more than 16ppg when they had AI with them on the team, with Coleman/Stackhouse doing it during Iversonís 1st 2 seasons in the league. What happens now in Denver, wherein they currently have the 2 top scorers in the league, averaging more than 30ppg?

Iverson's Sidekicks
Season  Player PPG  Player PPG  Player PPG
1997  Iverson 23.5  Stackhouse 20.7  Coleman 18.1
1998  Iverson 22.0  Coleman 17.6  Stackhouse 16.0
1999  Iverson 26.8  Geiger 13.1  Ratliff 11.2
2000  Iverson 28.4  Kukoc 12.4  T. Hill 12.0
2001  Iverson 31.3  Ratliff 12.4  Mutombo 11.7
2002  Iverson 31.4  Coleman 15.1  Mckie 12.2
2003  Iverson 27.6  Van Horn 15.9  Snow 12.9
2004  Iverson 26.4  Robinson 16.6  K. Thomas 13.6
2005  Iverson 30.7  Webber 15.6  M. Jackson 12.0
2006  Iverson 33.0  Webber 20.2  Iguodala 12.3

Iverson had four (4) seasons wherein he had a teammate with enough talent to score more than 16 ppg alongside him. But quite amazingly, these are the seasons wherein Philadelphia completely missed the playoffs! The 76ers of the Iverson era has made the playoffs in the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 seasons, completely missing all seasons highlighted in the table above. When Philadelphia made the finals back in 2001, AIís scoring teammates with 10+ppg were Theo Ratliff (12.4 ppg), Dikembe Mutombo (11.7) and Aaron McKie (11.6).

With Anthony and JR Smith out for the extended period, we are seeing Iverson having to carry much of the Nuggets?scoring load. Others to support him in the offense would be Marcus Camby and Earl Boykins. Weíll have to wait and see what will happen when Anthony and Smith returns from their suspensions. With Denver sitting at the 7th spot when the trade was finalized, with the lengthy suspensions, and the adjustments they have to make when Melo returns, Sixers President Billy King could look like the trade winner if the equation ďIverson + Scorers = Lottery!?holds true again...

Hans is an IT professional in Manila, Philippines and a long time fanatic of NBA and NBA statistics. He got hooked by playing NBA fantasy sports for the past 7 years, oftentimes being accused of cheating by his league-mates of exploiting system deficiencies. You can reach him through email at [email protected].

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