Pistons at 76ers preview
Iverson had 11 points, five rebounds and six assists in the loss and will likely get better as he gets into game shape and develops chemistry with his teammates.
Andre Iguodala (19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists) is Philadelphia’s go-to player and had 31 points in the loss to Denver. The addition of Iverson could be a boost to Iguodala, who has commanded a lot of attention from opposing teams. Now teams will also have to be aware of Iverson.
Elton Brand has been playing well as of late and is averaging 14.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last four. Samuel Dalembert had one of his better games of the season against Denver and is a double-double threat. Thaddeus Young (15.8 points) has started all 21 games for Philadelphia and is capable of going off for 20 in any game.
The 76ers will be without two of their bright young players. Lou Williams (jaw) and Marreese Speights (knee) are both out indefinitely.
Key matchup — Pistons Jonas Jerebko vs. 76ers Andre Iguodala: Containing Iguodala has to be the Pistons main focus defensively and that starts with Jerebko. So much will be made out of Iverson facing his former team, but as Iguodala showed Monday he is the 76ers main threat. Jerebko, who is averaging 13 points and 7.2 rebounds in his last five, will also have to keep up his recent offensive surge.
The skinny — Wednesday’s matchup appears to be two teams heading in two different directions, with the Pistons winners of three of their last four and the 76ers on a 10-game losing streak, but that could all change with a 76ers win.
The Pistons (8-12) have struggled on the road and are 2-8 this season, but need to be able to win road games like this one if they are going to make a push back to .500 and eventually for the playoffs.
Detroit got 53 points out of its bench in its win over the Wizards Sunday and could use a similar effort Wednesday. Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum led the charge offensively off the bench with help from Austin Daye in the second half.
Veteran Chucky Atkins has provided a steady hand in the starting lineup and the Pistons have won three of four with Atkins as a starter. Atkins hasn’t done anything overwhelming, but has provided solid minutes and done a nice job defending the likes of Brandon Jennings, Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas.
Richard Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back) remain out for at least the next two games. Ben Gordon (ankle) was limited in practice Tuesday, but is expected to play Wednesday.