Saying this season for the Philadelphia 76ers was a disappointment would be an extreme understatement. Sixers fans were finally spared of Andre Igoudala‘s offensive inconsistency, and had a team that featured what would be the best center in the Eastern Conference in Andrew Bynum. Analysts and experts were selecting the Sixers to contend for the Eastern Conference title, and everyone felt that they finally had a chance at making a run for the NBA title. Then came the disappointments. Worry began to set in when Bynum began missing practices in the weeks leading up to the opener. Management and Bynum informed the fans he would certainly be ready for opening night, and the fans had faith and believed it. Then came the first setback, then another, then another, then another, and, well, you know the rest. Andrew Bynum will not be suiting up for the Sixers this season and hopefully won’t go bowling ever again.
The Sixers started the season off pretty well. They were playing as a team, and this might have been in part due to them actually believing Bynum would join the team at some point to push them over the edge. As the season wore on, the hope began to fade and this showed dramatically in their play. They seemed uninterested at times, and for a team that’s only advantage is hustle, defense and energy, you can’t afford to be uninterested. If you would have told me last summer that the Sixers would lose a game to the Charlotte Bobcats in early April when teams are pushing for final playoff spots, I would have called you crazy. While mathematically the Sixers aren’t officially out of the race (cue Lloyd Christmas saying “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”), it would be nearly impossible to make up their deficit in their final eight games.
There was one bright spot this season and he goes by the name of Jrue Holiday. If you are a Sixers fan and this kid doesn’t make you excited when you watch him play, you need to watch more basketball. Holiday appeared in his first All-Star game this season, and is averaging about 18 points and eight assists a game. The stat that jumps out to me is the eight assists because frankly he was passing to nobody. The three guys who were supposed to light it up from the outside to go along with Bynum’s inside presence were extremely disappointing this season. Nick Young was a streaky as they come, Dorell Wright lost his shot halfway through the season, and Jason Richardson has been off the court more than he’s been on the court. Within all of the disappointment this season, Holiday is enough to keep hope as a Sixers fan for the future. All we can do is pray that somehow Bynum’s knees heal up and he takes a discount to stay in Philadelphia for what he put the team through this season.