Problems Continue in Philly
After a respectable start to the season, winning 10 of 16, then sticking around the 4th/5th spot in the East, the bottom has fallen out and the 76ers sit at 22-33, 6 games back of the Bucks for the 8th seed.
The Bulls topped the 76ers 93-82 behind a ridiculous triple double effort by Joakim Noah, posting 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-best 11 blocked shots. So yeah, you could say the 76ers could have used a 7’0”, 285-pound frame in the lane to help make things a bit easier.
That’s most likely on the mind of a lot of Philadelphia fans now more than ever. Earlier in the season, the 76ers hung around enough to make it seem that once Bynum returned, they’d truly turn on the steam and place somewhere around the top-4 spots in the East. The injury has been delayed longer and longer and during that same time period, the 76ers have just completely fallen apart.
This season’s cast a variety of colors on the 76ers. After the Bynum trade, they became an intriguing sort of sleeper option, a candidate to possibly shake things up with a low-post scorer moving to an Eastern Conference now lacking Dwight Howard.
But apart from Bynum, the team’s had to deal with the loss of long-time 76er Andre Iguodala, who had carried such a heavy load for the team for the past 6-or-so seasons.
So instead of having Bynum become the offensive focus to replace the previous focus of Iguodala, the team had to rely more heavily on Jrue Holiday, who had spent his first three seasons in a supporting role. But the young point guard has proven he can do quite a lot without having an all-star caliber teammate beside him. He’s taking 4 shots more per game this year and simultaneously averaging 4 more assists per game. So all in all, if the season doesn’t have anything else to offer, the 76ers should at least know they’ve got their point guard for the future.
But while Holiday’s continued to post solid numbers, his supporting cast hasn’t done much to help out.
Re-signing Bynum will be the million-dollar question in a matter of months and although the team has a pretty clogged-up payroll, it would be almost unimaginable to think of Bynum sitting out the entire season and never playing a single game in Philadelphia, a city that he declared a “new home” when first welcomed into it.