Andrew Bynum is back! After all of the ups and downs, he is dunking in practice and reports say we should see him back in a 76ers uniform after the All-Star break. I was excited to finally get him healthy and on the court, now not so much. With Bynum’s re
turn there should be a noticeable change in the team that has been frustrating all fans. However, do not expect it to be an enormous change.
The 76ers are currently 18-26 and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Yes this means they are in the playoff hunt, but are they really? Their season as a whole has been frustrating. Spencer Hawes does not look as good as some may have hoped and after getting a new contract, Lavoy Allen’s play has been far from acceptable. On the bright side we finally have an All-Star in Jrue Holiday, but what is the point of having him if he is going to turn down the final shot and pass it off to Thaddeus Young. Yes, Young is the second best scorer on the team according to statistics, 15 points per a game, but he would not be my second or third choice to take that shot.
To add to the growing pains, 76ers fans sat through a month of January where the team went 4-9. They beat the New York Knicks who are the second best team in the East, but fell to the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets are in second to last place in the West. It had looked as if the biggest issue for the 76ers in that game was going to be 6’10’’ Anthony Davis and 7’ Robin Lopez, given the lack of size on the 76ers end. Instead it was Greivis Vasquez and 6’3’’ Eric Gordon who could not be stopped. The team is just too inconsistent.
Another concern is their physical play. The team simply does not like to push the ball down low and draw contact. Opponents have attempted 226 more free throws than the 76ers so far this regular season. This is a part of the game that I do believe Bynum will impact. His physical play should help draw a few more fouls, but not enough to get them over .500. He will help get their rebound totals up as well, but again not enough to help make this team a true playoff contender.
This team just does not have it this year, healthy Bynum or not. If they gather a few extra wins with his return they could make the playoffs due to the lack of strength in the Eastern Conference. But they cannot contend with Miami or New York in a series. I know some people are thinking, “Well we took down Chicago when they were a one seed”, but it is not the same team. Doug Collins just does not have the same look this year.
There is one final positive I see out of this team that has absolutely nothing to do with Andrew Bynum. Nick Young, Nick Young, Nick Young.Tags: Andrew Bynum, Anthony Davis, Chicago, Doug Collins, Eastern Conference, Eric Gordon, Free Throws, Jrue Holiday, Miami Heat, New Orleans, Nick Young, Philadelphia, Sixers, Spencer Hawes