Is Allen Iverson the right fit to Detroit's championship puzzle? Or is Mr. Big Shot's Denver homecoming the true story, pushing the Nuggets to that next level out West?
Those are just some of the questions NBA fans have been debating since the high-profile trade went down, and thanks to EA Sports and NBA Live 09's new simulation engine, we are here to provide some possible answers to The Answer's new fate.
When EA's simulation scientists forecast the season before the trade, the Pistons finished as the East's second seed, ultimately losing to the Celtics in the conference semi-finals. After the trade, EA Sports headed back to the lab, made the appropriate lineup adjustments and added Iverson to the mix in Detroit. The results? The Pistons saw an immediate improvement, jumping to the top seed in the East thanks to the toughest little man to ever play in the Association.
Iverson is honored as a First Team All-NBA selection while leading his new squad in scoring (24 ppg), assists (9.3), and steals (1.7), helping Detroit finish with a 52-30 record.
Unfortunately for Piston fans, the new lineup still falls short in the playoffs, losing in the conference finals to the Miami Heat (who ultimately lose to the Lakers in the Finals).
As for Chauncey Billups and his new crew out in Denver, the results aren't so positive. It seems that trading for Chauncey actually drops the Nuggets in the season sim from a fifth seed to a sixth seed, finishing with a record of 46-36.
And while EA Sports predicts Billups will average 20.4 ppg and lead his team in assists (8.3), steals (1.5), and FG% (49.5%), those numbers just aren't enough out in the hotly-contested West as the team loses to Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.