The past couple of days featured two games which carried very little meaning, and a cautiously worded bit of news concerning the Sixers savior's problematic knee. Let's add some meaning to the meaningless and dissect Bynum's procedures to kick off our week.
Let's start with the Bynum news. Apparently, Bynum will have a previously scheduled procedure done to his knee. A procedure designed to basically add fluid to the joint. It's not expected to further delay his return (for the beginning of the regular season). Yes, it's odd that we're just now hearing about a previously scheduled procedure. It's also odd that a procedure would be scheduled at this point when it seemed like a surprise when he was ruled out for three weeks of the preseason. Is it troubling, though? Not really.
I feel pretty much the same way about Bynum's health as I did when they traded for him. I hope he stays healthy, I hope injuries don't dog him his entire career. I hope last season was an indication that the worst of his problems are behind him, but at the same time, I'm concerned. Both the procedure he had in Germany and this lube job haven't done anything to make me more concerned. In my decidedly non-expert opinion, both of these procedures were more prophylactic in nature. Obviously, it's not great that the center of the team's future, literally and figuratively, is getting treatment for arthritis in his knees at the age of 25, but it's preferable to getting surgery in response to a specific traumatic injury. Had he blown out his knee over the summer, or if it seemed like he was playing hurt all last year, and they were finally addressing the issue under the knife, I'd be more worried. For now, though, I'm just going to look at these procedures as insurance. Steps taken to keep him on the floor and healthy this season.
And now, for the Sixers 1-1 start to the preseason. Nothing to be taken from the record, obviously. Bynum was out, Collins was fooling around with the rotation and sitting guys for no reason. Royal Ivey started one of the games. Probably shouldn't read too much into individual performances either...but let's do so anyway. First, the good. Even without their post presence drawing double teams, the Sixers are shooting the lights out from three. 16/33 so far, for 48%.
On the other side of the ledger, you've got the achilles heels of both Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday. Turner has scored 18 points on 26 shots. Jrue has been much more efficient (37 points on 26 shots), but he's only gone to the line once in 46 minutes of action. Turner made 4/4 from the stripe in 64 minutes. If the starting lineup is Jrue, Richardson, Turner, Hawes and Bynum, Bynum is really going to be the only guy who ever goes to the line, and that's a terrible thing. Means bigs on the other team are going to be able to hack away at him much more frequently before the Sixers even get into the penalty.
It's just two preseason games, plenty of time for these guys to prove they've improved their games (and recognized what needs to be improved upon), but the early returns aren't great. I'll leave you with one more fun stat to brighten up your Monday morning. Holiday has 12 assists and only 4 turnovers in his 46 minutes of play.