6 Philadelphia 76ers The Answer has a new playmate. The question is, Will they share?

October 27, 2003

A new season, a new sidekick for Allen Iverson. This time it's
Glenn (Big Dog) Robinson who is charged with watching the
Answer's back. In Iverson's seven seasons the Sixers have gone
through Jerry Stackhouse, Toni Kukoc, Larry Hughes and Keith Van
Horn in their search for someone to fill it up when the shooting
touch of the league's Little Big Man goes awry, which is fairly
frequently. In Robinson, a career 21.1-points-per-game scorer,
Iverson has his most reliable aide-de-camp.

Iverson also has someone who will reliably hoist it almost as
frequently as he does. Last season he took a shot every 1.7
minutes, Dog every 2.1. Will this be a problem? "A lot of people
have been talking about how we're going to have trouble sharing
the ball," says Robinson. "C'mon, I played [in Milwaukee] with
Sam Cassell and Ray Allen. That was three guys who had to share
it."

Iverson does seem genuinely glad to have Robinson by his side
after a frustrating 2002-03 season. For the first time in his
career Iverson was healthy enough to play every game, yet his
scoring average (27.6) was his lowest since 1998-99 and his
shooting percentage (41.4) was the third worst of his career.
With the 6'7" Robinson drawing frequent double teams--Big Dog is
nowhere near as electric as Iverson, but he is a career 46.0%
shooter--Iverson will have little excuse for not improving his
accuracy.

Robinson has already uttered the three magic words in
Philadelphia: "It's Allen's team." With a solid backcourt mate
(Eric Snow), a third-guard option (Aaron McKie) and at least
three proven frontcourt players (Derrick Coleman, Kenny Thomas
and Marc Jackson), let's see how far Iverson can take his
team--with man's best friend at his side. --J.M.

COLOR PHOTO: GLENN JAMES/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES Glenn Robinson

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the 76ers

"What can they expect to get out of 36-year-old Derrick Coleman at
center? He's coming off a tremendous year, but I wonder how much
that had to do with Larry Brown's positive way of dealing with
him. They've gone from having shot blockers like Theo Ratliff and
Dikembe Mutombo to having no presence in the middle.... Kenny
Thomas is an active power forward and a nice rebounder, but he's
undersized and isn't going to dominate anybody inside.... Rookie
coach Randy Ayers has been a Philly assistant for the last six
years, so he knows that he can't change Allen Iverson. All he can
do is try to appease him and trust that Iverson wants to prove he
can win without Brown.... Iverson is the second-best player in
the East behind Tracy McGrady. There is no one with a bigger
heart than Iverson, and while he probably sets a bad example with
his practice habits and off-the-court stuff, he sets a very high
standard when it comes to playing hurt and playing hard every
game.... Iverson will be thrilled to have a scorer like Glenn
Robinson--so long as Big Dog understands he's going to be the
Number 2 option every night. Though Robinson rebounds well, he
isn't tough. He'd rather take the jumper than go hard to the
hole.... They're going to run, which might help a declining team
like this generate energy. You see it all the time: Players who
can't get inspired to play defense will suddenly perk up when
they have a chance to get out and dunk.... Eric Snow is their
most stable force, but it's going to be interesting to see if he
can make the transition to the running game. He's a guy in
Brown's image who values controlling the ball.... They're going
to have a honeymoon at the beginning, but when things aren't
going so well, who is going to step in, settle them down and get
them to play the hard defense?"

FAST FACT
Allen Iverson became the fourth player to win three steals
titles--and the first to lead the league in steals for three
straight years.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 48-34 (4th in East)
Points scored: 96.8 (9th in NBA)
Points allowed: 94.5 (15th)
Coach: Randy Ayers
(first season with 76ers)

DERRICK COLEMAN

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
C 129 9.4 7.0 1.4

BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
1.08 0.83 44.8 32.8

GLENN ROBINSON[1]

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SF 26 20.8 6.6 3.0

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1.32 43.2 34.2 87.6

ERIC SNOW

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PG 54 12.9 3.7 6.6

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1.62 45.2 21.9 85.8

ALLEN IVERSON

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SG 10 27.6 4.2 5.5

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
2.74 41.4 27.7 77.4

KENNY THOMAS

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PF 94 10.1 8.0 1.7

BPG SPG FG% FT%
0.42 0.94 46.5 74.6

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

G-F AARON
MCKIE 123 9.0 ppg 4.4 rpg 3.5 apg 1.64 spg 42.9 FG%
G JOHN
SALMONS 196 2.1 ppg 0.9 rpg 0.7 apg 0.27 spg 41.4 FG%
F-C[1]MARC
JACKSON 235 5.5 ppg 2.9 rpg 0.39 bpg 0.31 spg 43.8 FG%
G-F GREG
BUCKNER 262 6.0 ppg 2.9 rpg 1.3 apg 0.96 spg 46.5 FG%
C SAMUEL
DALEMBERT 325 1.5 ppg 2.0 rpg 0.38 bpg 44.0 FG% 38.9 FT%

NEW ACQUISITION[1]
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 94)
2001-02 statistics

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)