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Iverson’s home debut leaves fans wanting

Allen Iverson got the rousing ovation he craved before the game. Sadly, the Pistons followed with a performance that turned the cheers to boos and had many fans heading for the parking lot with a quarter and change left to play.

I attended the game for FanHouse and wrote up a couple of long-ish pieces, one focusing on Iverson trying to fit in and another on how badly the team misses Antonio McDyess. Read those in their entirety at your leisure.

Instead of dwelling in negativity (pick your own reason why: it's still early, Iverson hasn't had many practices with the team, games like this happen, it's the freaking world champs, etc ...), I'd like to point out an encouraging comment made by Doc Rivers before the game, lifted from the first link above:

"With Chauncey, they didn't turn the ball over, but you could pressure them and make them eat up clock in possessions," said Rivers. "Now with Allen, you can't pressure Allen because [if] you pressure him, he'll beat you off the dribble and go to the basket. In some ways it may help them get into their offense earlier. That's been something we've done against them pretty well -- we were able to pressure them up the floor, make them use clock. They were starting their offense in the playoffs last year at 10 and 11 [seconds left on the shot clock], and that was huge for us."

Granted, the early returns weren't promising, but I think part of that was because the regulars (except Tayshaun Prince, to my surprise) are still a bit tentative. Iverson doesn't seem to know if he should take over, and the Pistons aren't sure when they should create on their own. There's no real flow yet (they had two assists as a team at halftime), but that should come with time. Plus, and this shouldn't be understated, the Celtics make a lot of teams look silly.

Random side note: Will Bynum was once again kind of awesome. Granted, it was in garbage time after the game was decided, but in 12 minutes he scored 11 points (3-4 FG, 4-6 FT), good for second-most behind Tay's 23. I don't know how he's supposed to get more minutes so long as everybody is healthy, but man, he's making the most of things.

Also, speaking of health, Rodney Stuckey is fine. He was lightheaded and dizzy at the end of the first half but apparently felt fine after retreating to the trainer's room for the second half. He's not expected to miss any more time.

Celtics 88, Pistons 76 box score / ESPN