Well-respected NBA journalist Kevin Ding took a break from writing about the Los Angeles Lakers recently to discuss ex-Laker Andrew Bynum. He argued that the Philadelphia 76ers were un-wise to build their team around Bynum last summer. It’s a good argument considering that Drew has yet to play a game this season due to knee issues.
But I beg to differ.
The 2011-12 Sixers were a young, perimeter team that had reached its ceiling. JRue Holiday and Evan Turner may still have room to grow in the backcourt but that isn’t enough to get to the Finals. Reality is the Eastern Conference is Miami’s to lose for the next handful of years. The Sixers were just a poor man’s version of the Heat, and they got blown out every time they faced them. It was just a bad matchup for Doug Collins’ crew.
The only way to beat Miami, as we’re seeing, is to be good in areas that they’re not: size and rebounding. Andrew Bynum, even at 75%, is enough to cause serious problems for Lebron & Co.
In Kevin’s defense, his argument was of a strictly business perspective. He maintained that it would be a mistake to pay a guy with chronic knee problems maximum money. That, I do agree with.
But I think this season is working out perfectly for Sixers management. Andrew will likely end up playing later in the season and, hopefully, into the playoffs. His short stint in 2013 will give the front office a decent snapshot of the future while his injury will allow them to possibly re-sign Drew at a discount.
But, until Andrew Bynum actually puts on a 76ers jersey, I’m just spinning my blogs. A positive was that he told reporters recently his knee is "pain-free." He also said he hopes to return "around the All-Star break."
I’m confident that Drew will return this season and, when he does, Philly will have a serious advantage against the aforementioned Miami Heat inside.
It could be a first round series for the ages.