for this game

Pistons will not have Iverson against Raptors

Nov 5, 2008 - 11:16 PM Detroit (3-0) at Toronto (3-0) 7:00 p.m. EST

TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons will have to wait to begin the Allen Iverson era.

Iverson, acquired Monday in a blockbuster deal with the Denver Nuggets, will not be allowed to suit up for the Pistons in Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors.

For a Detroit squad so used to routine, Iverson is a wild card. The nine-time All-Star adds dimensions that the team hasn't had in years - he is a lightning-quick guard who can create his own shot, drive to the basket and get to the foul line.

But on Wednesday, the Pistons will not have the services of Iverson, who was acquired for guard Chauncey Billups, forward Antonio McDyess and center Cheikh Samb.

Billups will not take his physical with the Nuggets until Thursday, meaning Iverson cannot play for the Pistons until Billups is medically cleared.

The 33-year-old Iverson has never won a title, while many of his new teammates have championship pedigrees.

The pairing of those elements is what Pistons president Joe Dumars is banking on to revitalize a team that, while perennially successful, has become stagnant in recent years.

After he was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to Denver early in the 2006-07 season, Iverson acclimated himself quickly, registering double-doubles in each of his first three games with the Nuggets. He averaged 31.3 points and 11.0 assists in those three contests.

Iverson averaged 26.4 points and 7.1 assists with the Nuggets last season, his only full campaign in Denver. He has averaged 18.7 points and 6.7 assists in his first three games this season.

This year's Toronto team has gotten off to an impressive start. The Raptors' biggest offseason move was bringing in former All-Star center Jermaine O'Neal, who so far has provided a formidable tandem with Chris Bosh.

Their presence in the middle has opened things up for Toronto's perimeter shooters - as a team, they are shooting 55 percent from 3-point range.

The Raptors have lost the season series to the Pistons seven years in a row, but during that time the Pistons' personnel hasn't turned over that frequently. The lineup Toronto will see this time will have a distinctly different makeup.