NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, October 31st (All Times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (0-0) at Philadelphia 76ers (0-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two of the principals involved in this past summer's blockbuster trade will meet in their season-opener when the Denver Nuggets visit the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Nuggets and Sixers were part of the huge, four-team deal that sent Arron Afflalo from Denver to the Orlando Magic, Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia to the Nuggets, Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to the 76ers and Dwight Howard from Orlando to the Lakers.
So Iguodala will still begin his season in Philadelphia, where he spent all eight years of his career. The difference is, he'll be wearing the powder blue of the Nuggets.
The trade was finalized while Iguodala was in London representing Team USA at the Olympics.
"I'm in warmups, and I'm thinking 'Where am I going to move? Who's going to send my stuff back? Who's moving with me? When do we play Philly? I can't wait to play them,'" Iguodala told CBS Sports' Matt Moore.
Last season was a spectacular one for Iguodala. He made his first All-Star team, swished two free-throws with almost no time on the clock to guide the No. 8 seed Sixers past the top-seeded Chicago Bulls, led Philly to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, made the Olympic team, then got traded.
Now, Iguodala anchors a well-balanced Nuggets team. Ty Lawson, who just signed a four-year extension with the team, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller, JaVale McGee, Kosta Koufos and Wilson Chandler will all contribute to this deep, up-tempo team. Gallinari is a game-time decision with a sprained left ankle.
On his way out of the City of Brotherly Love, Iguodala took a jab at former coach, Doug Collins.
"I haven't really enjoyed basketball a whole lot the last couple of years," Iguodala told Moore. "Last year was a big year for us, but it was just draining for the criticism to be there every single day."
Collins didn't take the bait.
"Dre is going to want to come in here and play great, he's going to want to come in here and win," Collins told the Philadelphia Daily News. "Every time Denver comes in here and plays, I'm sure he's going to want to win and, on the other hand, we're going to try to beat Denver. It's not going to be that we're going to try to beat Dre. We're going to try to beat the Nuggets, and Dre is a huge part of that."
It's not Collins' way to respond to semi-controversial comments with added rhetoric. And Collins has plenty of things about his own team to worry about.
Bynum barely saw the court in the preseason with a right knee injury and he will miss Wednesday's tilt. He is the cornerstone of the Sixers (assuming they re-sign him in the offseason), so Philadelphia is being cautious.
There is talent on the Sixers outside Bynum. Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday are up-and-comers and the bench, a source of strength for the Sixers in recent years, remains strong. The team went 6-1 in the preseason without Bynum.
Denver snapped a three-game losing streak to the 76ers with a 108-104, overtime victory in Philadelphia last season. That was the only meeting between the two in the shortened 2011-12 campaign. The Nuggets have won six of their last nine in Philadelphia.
10/31 10:34:20 ET