The Philadelphia 76ers have had a rocky start to the season. There was some concern that they would have their issues before Andrew Bynum joined the lineup. Those issues didn’t come about during their first game, a win against the Denver Nuggets, but it certainly came true in back-to-back losses to the New York Knicks.
The Sixers opened up their season at home against the Nuggets on Halloween night. The defense came to play for four quarters and Spencer Hawes shocked the world with a 16 point, 12 rebound and 5 block performance. Every win the Sixers can get without Bynum this season is huge. He is a go-to player on offense and the type of player on defense who can change an entire offensive game plan with his shot blocking ability.
The Sixers didn’t play until four days later where they started a away and home two day stretch against the New York Knicks. Neither game went well for Philly. They dropped the road game Sunday afternoon 84-100 and then against at home Monday night 88-110. The Knicks offense made simple work of the Sixers defense in both games. Carmelo Anthony combined for 48 points in both games.
It’s hard to really gauge the Sixers after the first week of the season. They have only played two different opponents. They are undefeated against everyone but the Knicks, but now stand 0-2 in the division. Ideally, you should wait 20 games before really judging where an NBA team is.
The Sixers are 1-2, but have already lost Jason Richardson and Kwame Brown to injury and are currently without Andrew Bynum. The Sixers didn’t have Bynum in the season opener, lost Richardson in game number two and lost Brown in Monday night’s loss. Bynum has no time table for a return just yet, but should be back sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Brown and Richardson did not practice on Tuesday and are out for Wednesday’s game.
The Sixers have a three game road trip this week. They play at New Orleans on Wednesday, at Boston on Friday and at Toronto on Saturday. All three are winnable games, but the defense must wake up and the offense must find some kind of a rhythm. The schedule may be winnable, but a 1-5 start isn’t out of the question. Winning two out of their next three would be ideal for Philadelphia right now. Getting to .500, or slightly above before Bynum comes back should be the goal. Remember, Bynum didn’t play in preseason. He will have to adjust to the team as everyone else will with him.