Iverson reunites with his former coach when the Philadelphia 76ers visit Brown, Marbury and the struggling Knicks.
Marbury has already expressed some displeasure with his role in Brown’s offense, asking at one point to be switched to off guard—the position at which Iverson has been so successful.
Unlike this season with New York, Brown had other good point-guard options at his disposal when he was coaching the Sixers. Brown helped Iverson develop into one of the league’s elite players and the duo led Philadelphia to the NBA Finals in 2001.
Brown and Iverson had their share of problems with the Sixers, just as Marbury and Brown are experiencing in their first season together in New York. The Knicks are one of only three teams in the Eastern Conference that has yet to reach four wins.
Marbury hasn’t been complaining lately and he’s been playing better, averaging 24 points and eight assists in the last two games. He totaled 23 points on 10-of-30 shooting in New York’s previous three games.
The Knicks fell for the third time in four games Wednesday with a 108-95 loss to Charlotte. They trailed by double digits throughout the second half and committed 22 turnovers.
It was the most points New York has allowed in a non-overtime game during Brown’s tenure.
“Turnovers were huge, they got over 20 more shots than we did,” Brown said. “They killed us on the offensive boards. When you take those things into consideration, you’re going to have problems.”
Philadelphia is having big problems on the boards, ranking among the league’s worst teams with 38.3 rebounds per game.
The Sixers have dropped three of four, and in each of those losses, they have been outrebounded by at least 11. In the one win, 103-91 over New Orleans on Monday, they had a 50-38 rebounding advantage.
Philadelphia was outrebounded 55-38 in a 108-97 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday.
“We didn’t play any defense and we didn’t rebound the ball,” said Iverson, who scored an NBA season-high 45 points. “When you get outrebounded like that, you can’t win basketball games and we’re giving up 100 points every night.”
New York may still be missing starting center Eddy Curry, who sat out Wednesday with a strained left calf.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 25): 76ers - 1st place, Atlantic Division. Knicks - 4th place, 3 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: 76ers - Iverson, 32.8 ppg and 8.1 apg; Webber, 10 rpg. Knicks - Marbury, 16.3 ppg and 6.5 apg; Curry, 6.5 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Knicks, 3-1.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: 76ers - 2-3 on the road; Knicks - 1-2 at home.