Detroit (42-24) at Philadelphia (32-34)

Fair Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Mar 23, 2005
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Chris Webber has struggled with the Philadelphia 76ers since being acquired just before the trading deadline.

After missing the last game due to a compressed nerve in his left leg, Webber will try to help the 76ers inch back to the .500 mark when they host the defending champion Detroit Pistons.

Webber, concerned the injury was related to his surgically repaired right knee, hopes to be in top form after sitting out Philadelphia’s 94-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

“It feels pretty good,” he said. “The doctor told me about a nerve in your foot and several ways you can affect it. How you sit, how you lean and the other was the way that I iced it. I probably iced my nerve or something like that. I’m glad its not the knee and I’m glad it was one game.” ”

Webber averaged 21.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in 46 games with the Sacramento Kings, but is getting just 14.1 and 7.6 respectively in 11 games with Philadelphia. However, he is confident things will improve.

“I feel more and more comfortable with the guys on the court every day,” Webber said.

Philadelphia coach Jim O’Brien, who had been playing Webber sparingly of late, says he’s confident after the power forward practiced “full-out, full-contact” on Monday.

“He looked good,” O’Brien said. “I think he’ll be ready to go in this game (against the Pistons).”

A return to form for Webber will be a big boost to the 76ers, who are just one-half game ahead of Orlando for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is also just 6-6 since acquiring Webber.

“There’s very little margin for error especially with the eighth and sixth spots being so close,” Webber said. “We have a sense of urgency. We’re not happy about where we are, but we’re on the way. We’re definitely on the way.”

Allen Iverson was fined $10,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for a heated exchange with referee Marc Davis after the loss the Bulls.

Iverson, upset about calls, challenged Davis and had to be restrained by teammates. A few minutes later was seen heading in the direction of the referees’ dressing room before general manager Billy King interceded and calmed him down.

Detroit will be looking to bounce back from a 91-76 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday night, snapping the Pistons’ five-game winning streak. Rasheed Wallace scored 25 points and Tayshaun Prince had 22 for Detroit, which scored just 29 points in the second half.

Chauncey Billups, averaging 25.5 points his last four games, hand just six points to go with eight turnovers.

“This is probably one of the worst games I’ve played as a Piston,” Billups said. “It happens, but it wasn’t anything (Cleveland) did.”

Detroit was without leading scorer Richard Hamilton, who was out with a sprained left ankle. Hamilton will likely miss this game as well, but could return for Friday’s home game against Indiana, according to Pistons assistant coach Gar Heard.

Heard is coaching the Pistons in place of Larry Brown, who missed his fifth straight game after surgery related to a November hip operation.

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