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1-2 punch hasn't produced a winner yet for Nuggets

By Darnell Mayberry Published: March 6, 2007
DENVER — Allen Iverson's arrival in Denver sent shock waves through the NBA when the Nuggets acquired the four-time scoring champ from the Philadelphia 76ers in December.

Paired with Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, Iverson was supposed to send Denver shooting up the Western Conference standings. He was supposed to turn the Nuggets into an instant title contender.

Instead, the Nuggets are a disappointing 14-20 since Iverson's acquisition and enter tonight's game against the Hornets clinging to eighth place at 28-29. Denver is just 4-8 when Iverson and Anthony are both in the lineup.

"I think when you add a guy to a team, especially a guy of his caliber, to a core that's been together it kind of throws off the chemistry a little bit,” Hornets forward Desmond Mason said. "I think that's what they're struggling with. Now you're pushing guys out of their comfort zone on the offensive end and on the defensive end, too. So I think it's a chemistry thing.”

Despite the powerful 1-2 punch of Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer at 30.4 points per game, and Iverson, who ranks fifth with a 28-point average, the Nuggets have lost five of their past seven games. They've allowed an average of 105.5 points while averaging only 98.8 points of their own over that span.

"They've just been trying to find what works,” Chris Paul said. "With J.R. (Smith) being hurt, that was another adjustment they had to overcome.

"But they'll be fine. They're both winners, and they're going to do whatever they have to do to win. I still think they're two deadly players, and when you put them together it's trouble. People have been killing them, now saying, ‘It's not working.' But if it works at the end of March and April and on, then that's when you want it to.”

Of course, the Hornets don't want things to start working in Denver's favor.

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Hornets at Nuggets
When: 8 p.m.

Where: Pepsi Center

Television: Cox 7

Radio: KHBZ-FM 94.7

Probable starters

HORNETS (28-32)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ass.
C Tyson Chandler 7-1 8.8 12.5 0.8
F David West 6-9 17.0 8.5 2.2
F Desmond Mason 6-5 14.3 5.0 1.6
G Devin Brown 6-5 11.8 4.7 3.0
G Chris Paul 6-0 17.3 4.1 8.7
Nuggets (28-29)
C Marcus Camby 6-11 11.3 11.6 3.3
F Nene 6-11 11.2 6.0 1.1
F Carmelo Anthony 6-8 30.4 6.0 4.1
G Yakhouba Diawara 6-7 4.8 2.0 0.9
G Allen Iverson 6-0 28.0 2.7 7.3

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