The Sixers picked up 12 wins without Andrew Bynum, over an easy stretch of the schedule. They've now matched those 12 wins with 12 losses heading into the toughest stretch of their schedule and I can't but feel the hole is going to be too deep to dig out of when the dust settles in January.
Here's the story, with Jrue, maybe the Sixers manage a split of their two-game Texas road trip this week. Without him, those are two losses. Then they come back to Philly to play their final home game of the calendar year, then it's off for an eight-game trip starting in Brooklyn on the 23rd. Phoenix, Portland and the Lakers are the only sub-.500 teams they'll face on the trip. Then they come home to play Brooklyn again on January 8th. I best-case scenario, they'll wake up on January 9th with a record something like 16-20. If Jrue's injury lingers at all, it might be more like 13-23.
They're on the outside looking in at the playoffs right now, with Milwaukee being the most obvious team to drop, but this hole may just be too deep. Best case scenario is probably a late January return for Bynum, if he returns at all.
Here's what I need from you guys. It's Monday, I don't want to face harsh realities. Give me a reason to believe this season won't be over by January 9th. How are they going to stay close enough to .500 to be able to snag a playoff spot, assuming Bynum comes back. For the life of me, I just can't see it.