Nuggets-76ers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 29, 2012
After eights seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, Andre Iguodala is hoping to give the Denver Nuggets a big boost in 2012-13. It's uncertain, meanwhile, when the new face of the Philadelphia 76ers will be able to take the court. Iguodala faces his former team as Denver visits Philadelphia, which isn't likely to have recently acquired Andrew Bynum available for Wednesday's season opener. The Nuggets and 76ers both proved busy this offseason, shaking things up in a blockbuster four-team deal that sent Iguodala to Denver, Bynum to Philadelphia, and Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. The 76ers also received Jason Richardson from Orlando. Iguodala has created an added level of excitement in Denver, with many expecting the Nuggets to be among the best in the Western Conference. "As a coach, I'm always nervous about all the hype," said coach George Karl, whose team went 38-28 before suffering its third consecutive first-round loss in last season's playoffs. "We're young and so you worry a little bit. ... We haven't proven anything." Having shipped Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington to Orlando, Denver figures to rely on Ty Lawson (16.4 ppg) and Danilo Gallinari (14.6) all the more. Big things are also expected from Kenneth Faried, who led all rookies and finished ninth in the league with 16.3 rebounds per 48 minutes last season. "We have a lot of weapons," Iguodala said. "If we use those weapons to our advantage - if everyone can explode in their area - that makes us a very dangerous team." While Iguodala isn't sure what to expect as he returns to Philadelphia, he's looking forward to starting this next chapter of his career. "Whether it's a warm or cold welcome, just because it's that first game, you really want to get off to a good start," he said. "I'm just trying to focus on what I can control and controlling my mindset going into the game. First game, you always want to get a win and get things started off on the right track, so that's where my focus is." With Iguodala no longer around, the 76ers, fresh off a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals, will likely go as far as Bynum can take them. It's unknown, however, when Philadelphia will start to reap the benefits of its trade with its All-Star center sidelined due to right knee pain. The 76ers plan to take it slow with Bynum, especially given his history of knee trouble. He averaged career highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with Los Angeles last season. "He's a big investment for our team," general manager Tony DiLeo said. "We want to be cautious. We just have to talk to Andrew every day and see how he's feeling. When he is pain free, that's when he will start basketball activities." Though the situation is hardly ideal, the 76ers should be able to hold their own while Bynum remains out. In addition to Richardson, Philadelphia added Dorell Wright and Nick Young this offseason, while a healthy Spencer Hawes would also be a big help. "We're not going to look over at a lifeline and say, `Let's wait for our lifeline to get back.' From a coaching standpoint, I have to let our players know we're good enough," said coach Doug Collins, whose team went 6-1 in the preseason without Bynum. "We're good enough to win. That's who we can be. "Hopefully when Andrew comes back we can be even better, maybe take it to another level." Collins is also hoping to see Jrue Holiday, entering his fourth season in the league, continue his ascent after he averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 assists in 2011-12. "He's gotta be our quarterback," Collins said," he's gotta be our guy that creates shots for himself, for others, that gets us easy baskets, who pushes us down the floor... for the most part, anytime we can, we'd like to get Jrue to get that ball." The 76ers may need a big game from Holiday if they hope to keep up against a Nuggets team that led the league with 104.1 points per contest last season. Denver has won five of seven road matchups in this series - including a 108-104 overtime victory Jan. 18 behind 28 points, 10 assists and eight boards from Andre Miller.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Minnesota Vikings plans in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker