Around and around we go on the Andrew Bynum wheel of fortune. The fortune the Philadelphia 76ers are paying him to ride the bench that is. The seven-foot center was acquired by the Sixers in a four-team deal also involving the Lakers, Magic, and the Nuggets. This multi-team deal sent one of the biggest love/hate athletes in Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala, to the Nuggets. But does that deal have the potential to crash and burn in the faces of all Sixers fans?
Obviously it is way to early in the season to tell. Mainly because the Sixers have only played nine games and have a modest 5-4 record. But the fresh news out of the Sixers office is that Bynum has another surprise for fans. His left knee now has swelling and cartilage damage from bowling supposedly. The big man that fans were ecstatic about getting already had his return date pushed to around January of 2013. This should not affect that return to the lineup, but it does make one worry it might.
Spencer Hawes has done a decent job filling in as the starting center averaging six rebounds a game, a field goal percentage of 43, and eight points per a game through the first nine games. The only problem is Hawes peaked in the first regular season game against Denver with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He also played a season high 31 minutes against the Nuggets. Since that game he has been very inconsistent in the points department and only hit double-digit rebounds one other time.
As I had said before it is only nine games into the season for the Sixers and it is in no way a time to panic. Doug Collins is a fantastic coach and was able to take a Bynum-less team seven games into the Eastern Conference Semi Finals against the Celtics. With that being said, the team has looked very unpredictable with whether or not this will be a good season or not. With the way the Phillies season went and the Eagles season is currently going, the start for the Sixers will spook any die-hard Philadelphia sports fan. Not always the most optimistic bunch, Bynum’s injury news will not sit well with those hoping to see him hit the hardwood. Of course the largest dark cloud over this injury news is not the injury itself, but the injury history he has.
Bynum had started out strong when he entered the league straight out of high school. His injury story began in 2008 when he dislocated his left kneecap. Unfortunately he did not return that season. Fast-forward to 2009, Bynum hurt his right knee after colliding with Laker star Kobe Bryant. That injury was only minor and he was able to return later in the season. In the 2010 playoffs, Bynum fell to injury again, forcing him to miss the start of the 2010-2011 season. It had seemed that Bynum was finally healthy after he returned in the winter of that season. But it was just the beginning of a new problem for the center. Maturity issues. He began to draw technical fouls and was ejected out of a few games. Then in his final season as a Laker a few benching’s caused him to turn for the worse despite having one of his better years.
The brief time following that all Sixers fans know well. We cheered and celebrated when the news was released that our 76ers acquired a true big man to help with rebounding and playing down low. We were concerned with news of him not being able to start the season due to knee problems, but not too concerned because his chronic issues were well known. But now with the season underway and more news coming out about not one, but now two knee problems it may be time to start being a little more concerned about the long term productivity of the Sixers. But hey, who knows. It’s still early on right?Tags: Andrew Bynum, Doug Collins, Los Angeles, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes