COACH: Jim O'Brien | 2003-04: 33-49
Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers have high hopes for speedy second-year guard Willie Green.
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Dignified Answer

Iverson
As he approaches his 30th birthday, maybe the petulant one has turned a corner.

Never synonymous with leadership, Allen Iverson nevertheless kept his commitment to USA Basketball this summer while others reneged around him. He didn't complain about the talent around him, he didn't make excuses when things didn't go Team USA's way. All he did was play hard, lead the team in scoring, and handle himself with dignity, in victory and defeat.

With Eric Snow in Cleveland, the Sixers are literally Iverson's team. How will he fare in his role as master and commander of the Sixers offense? If Iverson has indeed matured and will embrace a role as a liaison between O'Brien and his teammates, the Sixers could have the most dangerous sub-7 foot weapon in the East.

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Thomas
The beginning of the post-Larry Brown era wasn't seamless. President Billy King had to try on a few head coaches before he found the perfect fit. One 33-49 season and two departed coaches later, he found his man.

Jim O'Brien, without question, is the team's most important offseason acquisition. He quickly established a reputation as one of the league's top coaches before walking away from the Celtics last season. He'll help the Sixers re-establish a defensive presence and command the respect of Allen Iverson.

Iverson might be the only player who won't face a training camp battle for his starting job. With Eric Snow gone, and Willie Green and John Salmons capable of stepping in at the two, Iverson faces a probable return to the point. If O'Brien wants options, Kevin Ollie and Aaron McKie give him defense. McKie and Kyle Korver give him outside shooting.

At small forward, Glenn Robinson looks to rebound from an injury-marred campaign. Can the Big Dog regain his form as one of the game's best mid-range scorers? He'll be pushed by lottery pick Andre Iguodala, a superior athlete who has drawn comparisons to Scottie Pippen. Corliss Williamson will win minutes with low-post scoring.

Kenny Thomas and Samuel Dalembert have the inside track at the four and five spots. The 6-7 Thomas is undersized, but effective (13.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg). Dalembert was a revelation last season, averaging 12.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 4.43 blocks in April. They face a training camp battle from free agent Brian Skinner.

O'Brien has an extremely versatile roster, capable of scoring and stopping the opposition, and he has one of the game's best players in the prime of his career at 29. If you're looking for a dark horse to make noise in the East, look no further than Philadelphia.

Willie Green: Now starting next to Iverson
Kenny Thomas: Will he do as much with Skinner and Williamson in town?
"They're an interesting team. There's something about them I think Jim O"Brien's a great coach and I think they're the deepest team in the division, especially in the post. They seem to have two players at every position. Williamson, Thomas, Dalembert and now Skinner They've got experience, depth and guys who've won. They've come off a tough season. Iverson was injured a lot Dalembert is the kind of guy who can change a game. He can come from the weak side and block a shot or tip in a shot that no one expects him to get Iguodala is a Richard Jefferson kind of player."
--Eastern Conference scout
PLAYER/2003-04 STATS
PPG
RPG
APG
PG
26.4
3.7
6.8
SG
6.9
1.2
1.0
SF
16.6
4.5
1.4
PF
13.6
10.1
1.5
C
8.0
7.6
0.3
F
--
--
--
F-C
9.4
5.7
0.8
G
9.2
3.4
2.6
F-C
10.5
7.3
0.9
F
9.5
3.2
0.7
F
Draft
F-C
Free agent
G-F
Trade
G
Trade
F
Trade
C
Free agent
G
Trade
F-C
Trade
C
Trade
G-F
Waived
C
Retired
PPG
26.4
RPG
10.1
APG
6.9
SPG
2.40
BPG
2.30
Points Scored
88.0
(28th)
Points Allowed
90.5
(10th)
Field-Goal Percentage
.428
(24th)
Opponents' FG%
.432
(10th)
Rebounding Diff.
-0.55
(19th)
Nov. 3 at Boston (7:30 p.m. ET, CSN) | Buy tickets
Jim O'Brien returns to Boston to face Doc Rivers and the Celtics.
TV: CSN, WPSG
Web: Official site | Inside Ticket