The Sixers got a huge win the other night against a very good Portland Trail Blazer team in the Rose Garden. With Allen Iverson back in the lineup for the first time in four games, the Sixers followed their veteran leader to a huge upset, winning by double digits on the road. Iverson had his best game of the season since he returned to Philadelphia, scoring 19 points on 7 for 11 shooting. This is a big change from the Iverson of old, who used to score more points but would take (and miss) and ton of shots. Rarely did we ever see A.I. have a night in which he shot over 50% from the field. Iverson’s return helped spur the Sixers to a victory, hopefully one they will be able to build off of when they visit Chester native Tyreke Evans and the Sacramento Kings tonight at Arco Arena.
Playing againts former teammate Andre Miller for the first time since he left for free agency, the Sixers received an outstanding performance from Elton Brand off the bench. Brand dropped 25 points to go along with his 9 rebounds. I have been very critical of Brand’s play in the past, but I will give the man credit in that he has been playing very good basketball as of late, especially in the team’s last two wins against Boston and Portland. The good thing for Brand is that he can come off the bench and play efficiently, while not having to carry the entire burden of playing close to 40 minutes and defending the paint all night. With fellow big man Marresse Speights having an excellent season thus far as well, the two bigs can split time to give each other rest when they need it. Thaddeus Young seems to be able to play power forward too, and he has been the starter at that position since Lou Williams returned. With the lineup of Iverson, Williams, Iguodala, Young, and Dalembert (who continues to be a disappointment despite still showing signs of promise), the Sixers have a good mix of young talent and veteran leaders. With guys like Brand, Speights, and Jrue Holiday coming off the bench, the Sixers have some depth at each position. Hopefully they can put it all together and get a few wins. The team hasn’t won two straight since early November. Tonight against the Kings would be a good time to turn that around. They will need a strong defensive effort to get it done, as the Kings average over 104 points per game and have found their new star player in Evans, who is a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year.