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Allen IversonI'm assuming every newspaper, Web site and blog out there will have some derivation of the headline I chose for this post after Allen Iverson dropped 38 on the Sixers tonight, leading the Nuggets over Philly 109-96. Iverson really did win this game for the Nuggets.

After being up by as many as 14 in the second quarter, the Sixers came back and tied the game at 62 mid-way through the third. Shockingly, it was the Sixers starters, for the most part, who orchestrated the comeback. Led mostly by Andre Iguodala. Once the score was knotted at 62, however, A.I. took over. He hit back-to-back three to pus the lead back up to six, then found Nene under the hoop for another. The Sixers never really challenged after that point.

Thad Young had another impressive game. The roook saw 25 minutes of action and finished with 11 points (including the first three-pointer of his young career), 8 boards (4 offensive) and 3 steals. I love the minutes and I love the fact that Thad asserted himself on both sides of the floor.

I'm not too happy about Andre Miller's night. Miller took 21 shots, 10 more than Iguodala. That should never happen. He seemed to force the action several times, and must've had about 5 of his shots blocked when he tried to force one up.

Sam Dalembert played a spirited game, redeeming himself for Friday night's clunker against the Lakers. The Sensation finished with 10 points, 15 boards and 2 blocks.

I noticed something that I'm afraid is going to become a theme tonight. The Nuggets played zone for long stretches, and the Sixers really don't have a way to punish teams for doing so anymore. Giricek got 5 wide-open looks at threes, he was 1/5. Without Kyle Korver, I think teams are going to fall back into zones, pack the lane and make the Sixers beat them with jumpers. If Iguodala's mid-range games keeps improving, he could force them out of it, but the Nuggets did a good job of keeping tabs on him tonight. It really looked like the Sixers were just trying to run their normal offense into the zone, and it wasn't working. Too much dribbling, not enough passing, bad spacing.

The West Coast trip ends at 2-4, exactly where you'd expect it to end with the Sixers taking games from Sacramento and Seattle, and dropping them to Portland, Utah, LA and Denver. The Sixers have a travel day tomorrow, then play host to the Bucks on Tuesday before heading back on the road for a back-to-back in Toronto on Wednesday. They have to secure their home court against Milwaukee if they're going to survive this tough stretch of schedule with their heads only slightly below water.

Player of The Game: Thad Young
Team Record: 14-20
by Brian on Jan 6 2008
Tags: Allen Iverson | Basketball | Nuggets | Sixers | Thaddeus Young |