Besides a few minutes against Houston in January, it was clear Richard Hamilton and Allen Iverson didn’t complement each other on the court. Both commanded the ball, and neither provided much the other didn’t.
Prompted by a comment from a “Bubachuck,” I did some digging into last season’s numbers.
Pistons with Iverson and not Hamilton: 6-2 (.750, equivalent to 62 wins during a full season)
Pistons with Hamilton and not Iverson: 14-7 (.667, 55 wins)
Pistons with both: 18-28 (.391, 32 wins)
Pistons with neither: 1-6 (.143, 12 wins)
I think this means a couple of things.
1. Rumors of Iverson’s demise might (emphasis on might) be exaggerated.
2. Detroit didn’t combust as much as it appears. If the Pistons had another role player instead of Iverson, they probably would have been pretty good.
Could Joe Dumars’s have convinced Denver to throw in Linas Kleiza or Chris Andersen? Add one of them and cut Iverson immediately, Detroit probably would have been the fifth, maybe even fourth, seed.
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