Winter is coming. And winter brings with it a crossroads for this Sixers team. Their fate rests in the hands of team doctors and specialists. Not a great place to be, but such is life for a top-heavy basketball team floundering in Mediocracy. December 20th, six days from now, will tell us something or nothing about the elusive return of Andrew Bynum. We should know sooner than that whether or not Jrue Holiday will miss time.
If Dr. Punxsutawney sees his shadow twice, we're in for a lot more than six weeks of winter. Minus the two best players, the Sixers will try to slap a glow-in-the-dark band-aid on Pancreatic Cancer. It's not going to work, and with a coach like Doug Collins, there's a good chance they'll end up mortgaging their future by acquiring more band-aids. Drew Gooden's probably around.
The development of Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday has been, admittedly, quite nice. Turner's jumper is excellent. Jrue can basically get anywhere he wants on the court. Both have major issues with decision-making and shot selection, but they're still young and that's correctable. Neither should be your best player if you're thinking about a title, though. And that's what makes December 20th so important.
If Bynum is out for another three months and Jrue misses three weeks and the Sixers go 3-10, what then? Keep in mind that this year's draft pick goes to Miami if the Sixers make the playoffs. If they fall into the lottery, they keep the pick. Unfortunately, it's not a great draft class, so there's some sense to just giving up the pick now and getting it out of the way. But another useful lotto player would help -- especially if Andrew walks.
Can you see yourself rooting for losses again? This feels familiar. Talk about discontent.