Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Return of A.I.

As you have no doubt heard, Allen Iverson makes his return to Philly tonight. Much has happened since Iverson was traded to Denver 15 months ago. With that trade, the Nuggets were supposed to become a powerhouse in the West, and the Sixers were supposed to be a team that would be a few years away from being competitive. Neither of those things happened, and ironically, if the season ended today, the Sixers would be in the playoffs while Iverson and the Nuggets would be on the outside looking in. Of course, Denver has won 7 more games than the Sixers, but that's not the point.

Most of the success the Sixers have had this season is due to a player they got in the Iverson deal, Andre Miller. Miller has meant so much to this team, and has made Billy King look really smart in demanding that Miller be included in the deal for AI.

So, what will happen tonight? I expect a fast-paced game, with plenty of points being scored. Iverson will try to score at least 50 to stick it to his old team, because that's the kind of player he is. The Sixers will be looking to prove that they don't need Iverson anymore. Look for the two Andre's, Miller and Iguodala, to show that Philly doesn't need the other AI anymore.

More importantly, will Iverson get booed or cheered? My guess is that he gets a standing ovation before the game, but once it tips off, Iverson becomes just another opponent. After all, the Sixers are trying to make a playoff push here.

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