Friday, November 21, 2008

Trade winds swirl; Knicks trade G Crawford and F Randolph

I woke up this morning to the news that Jamal Crawford had been traded to Golden State for F Al Harrington. It came as a bit of a surprise as the move came out of left field. Harrington to the Knicks has been rumored for awhile but the Warriors wanted no part of Eddy Curry. There were no indications that this deal was a possible one until the deal went down this afternoon.

My first reaction was 'YAY 2010', but after reflecting a little bit I'll miss Jamal Crawford. I realize that Crawford was a very flawed player (the guy's shot selection for the most part has been absurdly bad, and his defense is bad as well), but he was an exciting player who gave us a lot of nice moments on an otherwise awful team. He always played hard, never griped or complained about the situation and was a true professional. He tried to be a leader in what was a dead end of a basketball team, and I respect him for that. He did all he could, and I'm glad he is now thrust into a decent situation out on the West Coast, and it's close to home for him. He was my favorite Knick player, and while it is in the best interests in the team, it's still tough to see him go. I appreciate him, and wish him the best of luck in Golden State.

I honestly don't see the fascination with Al Harrington, but I'll definitely trust Mike D'Antoni's judgment over my own. He's a decent player but has never really been much more than that. His numbers have been incredibly consistent over the years though, and he reminds me of a more talented, and MUCH tougher Boris Diaw. He can handle the ball, he can shoot it, he can defend a little, he has a bevy of different talents. We'll see how it works itself out, but Harrington is good enough to not consider this deal a TOTAL salary dump. Was it done to get under the cap for 2010? Yes it was. Is Al Harrington the equivalent of a bag of used baseballs? Nope, he at the very least, is a decent player who can contribute to the team's well being the next couple of years.

Then later on in the day, a trade that was in the works the entire day finally was made official as Zach Randolph was shipped to the Clippers for a bag of baseballs which come in the form of Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas. Both of these fellows are roster placeholders for the next two seasons. Tim Thomas, while I absolutely despise him, can actually contribute in D'Antoni's system as he proved in Phoenix. Cuttino Mobley is just......blah. He is just a placeholder who can hold his own a bit on the court.

This trade was a salary dump and there is absolutely no doubt about it. The Knicks have been trying to find a sucker to take Randolph's contract for the longest and they finally found someone to oblige in doing so. As talented as he is (as evidenced by his 20 and 12 average this season), his contract was simply unbearable due to the fact that moving Eddy Curry's contract will be like moving mountains. I like the trade simply because it means a transition and it brings hope. Coming into the day, we had very little chance to make a splash in the 2010 year of the Unbelievable Free Agent Class. Now, as I head off to sleep soon, the Knicks are arguably the favorite to land LeBron James. Given what the Knicks are enduring right, could you really ask for more? I still think D'Antoni and Walsh have another move up their sleeves. Stay tuned.

All in all, this was a great day for the New York Knicks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My thoughts on the NBA through a few weeks

- LeBron James is staking his claim for MVP. I know its VERY VERY early, but the guy is playing out of his mind. It seems like every time you look up he has one of those 40, 8 and 7 type of games. If he can get any type of help from the cast he has around him (or lack thereof) the Cavs can be a tough out in the postseason

- To my surprise, the Chauncey Billups trade has paid immediate dividends for the Denver Nuggets, as they look like a completely different basketball team. Less bad shots, and more trust in the rest of the team is the biggest difference. Props to Billups and the rest of that team for making it work to this point. We'll see how long it continues.

- The Nets are absolutely putrid. I realize they beat the Hawks two straight games, but asides from that they have looked awful. Devin Harris and Ryan Anderson to this point have been the lone bright spots. I hope the Nets trade Vince Carter for some type of expiring contract and call it a day.

- Chris Bosh is becoming better as the years go by which is hard to believe. Lost in the rush to see LeBron James hit free agency after next season, is that Bosh can declare for free agency the same season. That free agent class might be the best in league history.

- Zach Randolph is boosting his trade value daily and I love it. The guy is playing great basketball, even though every time he hoists up a three I cringe. He is a beast on the boards, and is putting up monster numbers at this point. Hopefully the Knicks can get some team to take his horrific contract, and at this point it is likely they could. Thank you Mr D'Antoni.

- Gilbert Arenas is injured? I hardly noticed. That contract will be one of the worst in league history.

- Joe Johnson is the most underrated player in basketball, maybe in all of sports. This guy does everything you want out of a two guard, is productive and plays hard yet doesn't get recognition? He can shoot with the best of them, he can create his own shot, he can defend, he can pass. If he played in New York, he'd have a statue outside Madison Square Garden. That is obviously an exaggeration but you get my point.

-The Lakers are essentially going to sleepwalk themselves to the number 1 seed in the Western Conference. I'd be shocked if the Finals matchup isn't between them and the Celtics.

-While Memphis may not be anything noteworthy now, their core of young players is definitely going to be reckoned with in the future. O.J. Mayo is showing already that he can score on the NBA level, Rudy Gay has crazy upside and Mike Conley can be a solid point guard in the future. If Marc Gasol can provide the Grizzlies with anything from the C spot, the Grizzlies can be a playoff team in the near future.

Thoughts on Week 11 of the NFL

While Matt Cassel looks like a decent QB, other from his starting inability to complete a deep pass of any sort, some poor team is going to end up breaking bank for him and treating him like Matt Schaub. Who will it be? Detroit? Minnesota? Who knows, but some team is going to rue the day they gave Matt Schaub a big contract.

-How Denver is 6-4, I have no idea. They are clearly the worst division leader in the NFL, but despite all the guys on IR and a poor defense they just keep on chugging. I think Jay Cutler should get mention as league MVP. Denver is leading their division without the benefit of a defense, and with seemingly half their roster on IR. Cutler's numbers, while not as good as Warner's, are comparable, and he is doing it with much less talent around him. I find it funny that it's basically a One Man race at this point, when there are other viable candidates. Props to Spencer Larsen for starting on both sides of the ball (FB, and LB), and doing a good job. That's how bad the Denver injury situation has become.

- The Colts just keep on chugging. I'm telling you, as a team right now, seeing Peyton Manning come January would scare the daylights out of me, and the poor team that runs into them can thank the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings for not finishing off the Colts when they had the chance. When you have a Hall of Fame QB coming off a surgical procedure, and a defense struggling, you have to put that team away. Now, the Colts are alive and kicking. Beware, AFC, beware.

- The Giants just impress me more and more every week. The Ravens, and their vaunted run defense, come to the Meadowlands and it doesn't make a lick of difference as the Giants run all over them. Derrick Ward is a nice back. While the offensive line is obviously what makes all of the runningbacks look as good as they do, Ward breaks a lot of tackles, and has a nice array of moves when he gets to the second and third level of the defense. I wonder who will be the next team to beat the Giants. I can't wait to see the next installment of Giants/Cowboys. That should be fun.

- The perennially overrated Eagles put on an impressive display, scoring 13 points in 5 quarters against the dreadful Cincinnati Bengals. Then after the game, McNabb rambled on about knowing the tie rules in football. Now, I'm not surprised he didn't know about them, and he might not have been serious. That being said if you are going to lay it on thick, "What happens if this were to take place in the playoffs or Superbowl' is a little bit too thick and makes you look like an absolute buffoon. Maybe he was trying to take attention away from his piss poor performance. If he was, he did a great job.

-Tennessee just keeps on winning. Every week they find a different way to win. This week they fell behind 14-3 early, and the run was getting stuffed once again. With a stifling defensive effort in the second half, and effective passing by Kerry Collins, the Titans pulled themselves out of the hole. Justin Gage had himself a wail of a ballgame. Hopefully the Jets take them down this week.

- That was a big win for the Cowboys Sunday night. It wasn't pretty, but it was the type of grind it out, tough nosed victory that you see in playoff football. Romo wasn't great, but when the team needed him the most, he came through by leading the team on a scoring drive. Also, Marion Barber absolutely pummeled the Redskins defense all throughout the fourth quarter, pounding them into submission and wrapping up a Cowboys victory.

- Another year, another strong start, another inevitable collapse for the Buffalo Bills. Ho hum.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My thoughts on the Knicks through nine games

Sitting at 6-3 the Knicks look leaps and bounds better than last season. They look like a respectable basketball team in many different respects, and look like a well coached basketball team.

So far my thoughts on the team as a whole:

-Wilson Chandler is a baller. The young man can play, and he looks to have a promising future as long as Coach D'Antoni is running the show. His athletic ability, his shooting ability have impressed me. Also, he is a nice rebounder who has a knack for the ball, and he can bang down low. D'Antoni has compared him favorably to Shawn Marion. That speaks volumes (though I do think Marion is very overrated, look at what he did with D'Antoni in Phoenix.

- Chris Duhon is a good distributor. Throughout the course of the season I think he will have to contribute more offensively, but right now he is finding open man, and playing good defense. He has proven to be a good signing thus far.

- When Jamal Crawford is going well, there aren't many guys in the league who I'd rather have with the ball in his hands in a big spot. That being said, that doesn't happen too often, but right now he is going well. He is shooting the lights out, and looks confident as ever shooting the three.

-Defensively, the Knicks are still a work in progress but they are playing better in that department as well. The effort is there, and the teamwork is there. Guys are covering for each other and communicating on the court more than I've seen from these guys recently. The lack of size upfront is hurting the team right now, but the effort on that side of the court is definitely there and that is a good sign.

- I think once Jared Jeffries comes back, David Lee will start to be phased out of the rotation a bit. I, for one, hope they trade Lee and get some value for him while they still can. While I like the guy's hustle, his defense is subpar and his offensive game still leaves a lot to be desired. In the offseason he will be commanding 10+ million, and paying that for an energy player with a limited offensive game is a bit short sighted. I trust that D'Antoni and Walsh will do the right thing.

- Zach Randolph is playing excellent ball right now, averaging 20 PPG and 12 RPG. He has all the talent in the world, no one ever questioned that, but he tends to phase out his teammates with his lack of passing and general attitude concerns. I see that Donnie Walsh knew what he was doing when he didn't just give away Zach in the offseason for a cup of cold coffee and a half eaten donut from the Clippers. Hopefully Zach continues on this pace so the team can rid themselves of the contract and potentially get a decent player for him.

Right now the Knicks look like a team on the rise, but it is still early. The teamwork, the offensive production, and the coaching have all been excellent and that is a great sign. Much like with the Jets, it seems as if times are a changing with the Knicks. Hopefully they can keep it up and bring playoff basketball back to the Garden

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jets defeat Patriots 34-31; sit atop AFC East

That was a hell of a football game. There were so many ups and downs, so many momentum swings. The Jets went up 24-6 early, with a picture perfect offensive display, then when it came down to the 2 minute segment of the first half, the Jets let the Patriots off the ropes with conservative play.

The Patriots couldn't stop them for the entire first half, the Jets get the ball back and run once, then throw a short pass, then get a delay a game and finally run a draw then punt. After that the Patriots proceeded to take the ball and take all momentum, attacking Dwight Lowery and the rest of the bewildered Jets defense en route to a touchdown, which gave them life and sucked the wind out of the Jets.

Other thoughts on the game:

-I don't think the Jets will win anything with Eric Mangini on the sideline. There is no reason why the Jets should have been forced to win this game multiple times and that is exactly what happened. After dominating early, the Jets instead of burying the Patriots let the foot off the gas. Therefore the Patriots were in this game for far too long. Between the extremely frustrating rush 3 and 4 on defense, and the head scratching playcalling on offense, the Jets looked like a completely different football team. That is a sign of bad coaching.

-Dwight Lowery should not be a starting CB on a team with championship aspirations, period. I think he has promise, and he is doing alright for a 4th round rookie thrust into a starting role of a complicated scheme, but he isn't accustomed to the game speed in the NFL yet, and it shows every week. As much as I know Darrelle Revis is a stud, there is a reason no one throws at him. Why throw at him when you have Lowery on the other side?

- Jerricho Cotchery continues to be a Patriot killer. It seems like every time these two teams get together, Cotchery makes a big play to change the game. His fumble hurt, but with the amount of good he did, it went largely unnoticed. It's amazing that Herman Edwards really had this guy on the bench in favor of Captain Concussion, Wayne Chrebet. That one-handed catch he made on the duck thrown by Favre was absolutely splendid.

- Dustin Keller showed exactly why the Jets took him in the first round. He has playmaking ability, good speed, and has good hands. He played a great game tonight and caused problems for New England over the middle of the field, which came into play later on, when a NE linebacker jumped a route to Keller, leaving Coles open behind him on the catch that put the Jets in FG range during the OT session. The threat of Keller opened up space for Coles. It was a beautiful sight, and hopefully one that will be seen a few more times throughout the remainder of the season.

-Matt Cassel looked very good tonight. He made a lot of plays with his feet, and he has a strong arm as seen with the velocity he had on his passes. I think he has a future in the league, and think this Patriots offense could be potent with him, if he ever learns how to throw deep passes. He had Randy Moss open deep twice, and overthrew him by a mile each time. Other than that, his game is fine. Maybe it's the system masking his deficiencies? Who knows, but if the offensive line gives him time to pass the team will be fine.

-This is the type of game the Jets acquired Brett Favre to win, and win he did. Favre was magnificent tonight and this was his best game as a Jet to date. He was precise with his throws, he had his trademark fastball tonight. He made good decisions and got everyone involved in the game. He led the team to 27 points in hostile territory with a defensive wizard on the other sideline (one that has owned him for the last decade to boot), and led this team from the dead twice. After New England kicked the FG to tie the game at 24, Favre led the team down on a long touchdown drive. After New England tied the game at the end of the fourth in logic defying fashion, Favre drove the team down in overtime to win it. This is the type of game the Jets got Favre to win, and this is why I'm glad Favre is on this team instead of Chad Pennington. Thank god. Brett showed why he's a Hall of Famer, tonight. He took the team on his back and carried it to a win

- I love Leon Washington. The guy is exciting, and is a return demon. I wish they would give him the ball more but with Jones going the way he is, that case is starting to dwindle.

All in all, I am very proud of this Jets team. They went up 24-6, by dominating the Patriots, the Patriots came back, and they withstood the barrage on two different occasions. This is the type of game the Jets historically do not win, and never have. It feels like the culture is changing with the New York Jets, and we'll see how it goes even though I feel with each game I watch, the Jets slash a year off of my life. Congrats to the Jets, they deserve this. Now keep the train going, don't stop. Ride it all the way to an AFC East crown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts on week 10 in the NFL

-Jay Cutler's performance Thursday night was simply scintillating. Everything seemingly going against Denver, between the dropsies and the Broncos usually pathetic defense, Cutler hauled that team on his shoulders and took them to a victory.

-The Falcons, is there anything more to be said about these guys? Great story, good team to this point in the season. These guys continue to play hard and change the culture down there in Atlanta. To this point I couldn't have been any more wrong about Matt Ryan. Big time props to him, as he has looked good the majority of the year.

-I feel terrible for Seahawks fans having to watch Seneca Wallace every week. This guy is absolutely awful. Watching the end of the Miami-Seattle game, and his throws floating all over the place made me reminisce back to the Chad Pennington days as a Jet. I was talking to a close friend of mine that night and he said to me 'One thing I don't understand about Wallace is why he doesn't run more', and my response was, 'One thing I don't understand about Wallace is why he has the letters 'Q' and 'B' next to his name on the depth chart. He has shown serious flashes at WR, he is beyond terrible as a QB, Seattle's WR corps has NEVER been good. You would think it all adds up, but maybe there is something behind the scenes that I am missing.

- I am glad to see that the Buffalo Bills have come right back to earth like I thought they would. THEY ARE WHO I THOUGHT THEY WERE!!! Anyway, once they start playing inside the East, they have come right back to reality. And I STILL don't see what's so wonderful about Trent Edwards, can someone enlighten me? Maybe it's the shiny QB rating, which indicates nothing, or the TD:INT ratio of 1. I don't know what it is, but the Edwards koolaid has been overflowing since last season and I don't understand why.

- The Rams are absolutely, positively GOD AWFUL. I can't remember the last time I watched a game featuring the New York Jets where I had absolutely no doubt from start to finish that they would win. 40-0 at halftime, seriously?

-Thomas Jones has simply been very good these last few weeks, and is running the ball a lot better. A lot less dancing and "cha-chaing" and a lot more running straight ahead. Kudos to him, as I've been down on him for the last year. The Jets offensive line and Jones are both starting to come together at the right time.

- The Chargers and Colts both should be dead and buried for this season, but they are both like the guy in the horror film who you think is dead at 15 different points throughout the movie, but never ends up dying. The Colts had two games (Texans, Vikings), with big comeback wins, and the Chargers were 2 yards away from losing to the Chiefs which would have put them at 6 losses. As much as both teams are struggling, as a team in the postseason, I would be weary of facing either one of these teams.

- The Patriots just keep on chugging. I think this shows, contrary to the popular belief, that this team was built around one guy. The defense and the coaching staff has stepped up. If it continues, I think Bill Belichick should be a serious contender for Coach of the Year. He lost the alleged 'Best Player in the NFL' in week 1 and his team has continued to win, and are leading one of the better divisions in the NFL from top to bottom (Record Wise anyway). He has done an incredible job keeping that team together.

-The Titans are just a blue collar football team, which is why they don't get as much credit/airtime as they deserve. They are not the Patriots, they don't score 40 pts a half, but they keep on winning. The Chicago Bears stepped up and stopped their running game, the Titans bread and butter, and then Kerry Collins beat them with his arm. It will be interesting to see how far the Titans go in the postseason.

-Why did the Detroit Lions sign Daunte Culpepper? Why? Why not give Drew Stanton a shot? Can it hurt? Signing an old retread, who has done absolutely nothing without Randy Moss solves what? All I can say is, if the Lions keep up the way they are going, Matt Stafford declares for the draft, and the Lions don't take Matt Stafford, that is a head scratcher. They need a blue chip QB prospect to start the healing.

- Adrian Peterson is incredible. Period.

- The Giants are the best team this league has to offer in my opinion. That is no disrespect to the undefeated Titans, but they don't have the offense that the Giants have. The Giants run game is the best in the league, and they have the weaponry to beat you in the air if necessary. Also, the Giants can win any kind of game. They can win the high scoring affairs, like they did Sunday, they can win the "grind it out", low scoring affairs like they did in the playoffs last season. They are the cream of the crop.

-The 49ers. I was just in amazement at that clock management. In an effort to keep this short and sweet, there were 40 seconds left, and you have 4 shots to get in the endzone, and the 9ers got off 2 plays. I think that tells all right there. And why oh why did they take all that time off the clock on 2nd down, just to spike the ball? WHY? If you were going to take that long, why not just run a play?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jets @ Patriots- Rivalry renewed, battle for 1st place

This is the first Jets-Patriots game with any major implications since the 2006 playoff game which the Jets happened to lose. Since that game the Jets have been mostly a disaster, and the Patriots have flirted with perfection.
In week 2 of this season, fresh off the news of Tom Brady's season ending injury, the Patriots walked into the Meadowlands and beat the Jets 19-10.

As much as I blame Mangini for coaching like a scared puppy the entire game, the MVP of that game without question was Stephen Gostkowski. Every single kickoff he made that game went right through the endzone. Gostkowski's performance along with the long, methodical, time killing drives were key as they heavily impacted the field position battle, which New England won handily all game, forcing the Jets to drive the length of the field to score.

Since then, a lot has changed. I now hold my breath every time Brett Favre throws a pass, the Jets have been utterly dominant on both the offensive, and defensive lines, Matt Cassel is more seasoned, among other things. Kris Jenkins has been everything any Jets fan, scout, coach, employee could have dreamed of and more. The Patriots defense is being relied on to keep the Patriots in games, which is a complete 180 from last year, when it seemed like the Patriots scored 6 TDs every quarter. All in all, the Patriots still have managed to win games without Brady, which shows just how important the New England defense has been throughout this run of success over the last seven years.

As far as the game goes, the Jets need to win this to have any shot at the division. With a loss to the Patriots in week 2, a loss here puts the Jets a game behind the Pats, and the Patriots have the tiebreaker. A loss here basically limits the Jets to thinking in terms of the Wildcard, and in the AFC there is a lot of jockeying for those two spots, even though the Jets have the upper hand in that regard at the moment. At the very moment, the Jets are a more talented team across the board than the Patriots are. They have a productive QB, Thomas Jones is playing well, and the Jets have dominated in the trenches recently.

It comes down to a few things:

- Mangini drawing up an aggressive gameplan. I don't care who is playing quarterback for New England, you will never beat them playing the way we did in week 2. Playing scared and not to lose, is not the way to beat them. You have to go out and there and force the issue, grab the proverbial bull by its horn. Mangini, for some reason or another, always coaches scared against Bill Belichick. It has to stop here, if the Jets want to win this game.

- The Jets offensive line vs the Patriots defensive line. In the Week 2 tilt, in a big goalline stand the Patriots managed to stop the Jets 3 times from the 2 yard line. Wilfork, Seymour and Warren make up possibly the best defensive line in the NFL. Faneca, Ferguson, Mangold, Moore and Woody will have to earn their paychecks this Thursday.

- The Jets forcing the game into Cassel's hands- The Patriots, without Brady, like to employ a ball control type of offense. They like to run the football, and it is essential that the Jets force Cassel to beat them in the air. The passing game is similar in that its is a short pass attack predicated on timing, 3 step drops, and an assortment of short routes. The biggest difference is that Cassel hasn't proven he can attack deep anywhere near consistently enough to be considered a threat.

As a Jets fan the matchup of Belichick vs Mangini concerns me, as Belichick has owned Mangini time after time during his brief tenure as Jets coach. And the Jets coverage on the short passes over the middle concerns me, as the Jets have been brutal in that regard all year.

So Thursday is the day, 1st place in the division is on the line, heated rivals get together on National TV. The Jets are flying high, and as of right now are the more talented team. The ball is now in their court, as they need to go out there and kick the Patriots in the teeth. If the Jets don't beat the Patriots now, they'll never beat them.

Jets 24

Patriots 20

Allen Iverson to Pistons

In a somewhat bold move earlier this week, the Detroit Pistons sent G Chauncey Billups, and F Antonio McDyess to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for G Allen Iverson. This move comes as a bit of a surprise given how much Detroit likes Billups, and the timing of the move (right in the middle of a 4-0 season).

I feel that Detroit got the better end of this trade by a mile. For the last few years, I've been saying repeatedly, while watching Detroit essentially get bounced by one man teams, that Detroit needs a dynamic scorer to compete. You can have this team basketball and chemistry all you like, but in the NBA you need a superstar to win. Boston has Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, the Spurs have Duncan, Miami had Shaq and Wade, the Lakers had Shaq and Kobe.

Team basketball is nice, but when it comes down to 2 minutes and you need one guy to take over a game, all those teams had their go to guy. Detroit has never had one until now. Now the jury is still out on whether Iverson can coexist with a team like Detroit, and whether his style of play can mesh with Detroit's halfcourt style. That being said, Detroit has NEVER had a great offensive player, they have never had someone who can consistently take over a game, and they have never had someone who can break down anyone in the league off the dribble. Now they have that dynamic playmaker, we'll see if he can fit into their plans.

I don't think Iverson is an NBA point guard though, so Detroit is going to have to do something in that regard. They can either slide Stuckey into the starting rotation, slide Iverson to the 2, then bring Hamilton off the bench, or place Iverson into the Ginobili role, of "Super Sub". Do I think this assures Detroit a title? No, but I do believe as a result of this trade they do have a better chance at a title than they did last week. If the trade doesn't work out for Detroit, they simply let Iverson go, move on with Stuckey as the point guard and hope to make a serious push at one of the big free agents in the off season of 2009. It is a win-win situation for the Pistons. They had gone as far as they were going to do with Billups leading them, it was time for a change, and Detroit made one and it works out well for them from every vantage point imaginable.

Now from Denver's standpoint, I don't think it's a good trade for them (basketball wise) but I realize given the fact that Iverson was going to walk after the season anyway, along with the fact that bad contracts (Kenyon Martin making 45 million for the next 3 seasons, and Nene making 41 million for the next 4 seasons), it makes the move almost a necessity for Denver to do this to remain competitive. Considering the fact that even with Iverson's contracts coming off the books, Denver was unlikely to be a serious player in free agency for either of the next 2 seasons, due to the terrible contracts of Nene and Martin in particular, the trade makes sense. I think that Iverson is the clearly superior basketball player but there are many reasons to make that trade for Denver. The financial reasons, getting a true point guard to run that offense up there, and defensively Billups is an upgrade (though I believe we will see him exposed a bit without the varying plethora of shotblockers that Detroit always put behind him). The move for Denver was a short term fix for what will end up as a long term problem. The move was made to stay competitive enough to keep the fans relatively interested but it doesn't make Denver a title contender now or in the future, unless a lot of things change.

All in all, its an even trade for both sides when you consider all of the external ramifications. Now hopefully for Iverson, for Detroit, and the fans of both parties, he can get that elusive first championship ring. It won't be easy, but I like Detroit's chances much more now than I did a week ago.