Collins cautious on Bynum's impending return

Collins cautious on Bynum's impending return
January 31, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Talk surrounding Andrew Bynum’s return to the court has increased after the center received a pair of joint-lubricating injections on Thursday that typically signify player’s intention to ramp up his action (see story).

Still, Sixers head Doug Collins doesn’t want people to get ahead of themselves.

“We have to understand that he is not going to just jump into a 5-on-5 scrimmage,” Collins said. “He has done nothing laterally or anything like that impact-wise. He is going to have to continue to do that, and at some point and time, hopefully he will be able to play some 1-on-1 in the post and build up with that.

“He is getting better and we are excited about that.”

Collins is an analytical guy, who provided tremendous insight through numbers during his time as a broadcaster. He shared some figures after Thursday’s practice with regards to who the Sixers could have been with a healthy Bynum all season.

“I thought going into the season we would be a 60 percent winning team with Andrew Bynum,” Collins said. “I thought at worst we would win 60 percent of our games. So if you take 60 percent of 45 is that 27?”

Yes, it is. By Collins’ math, the Sixers’ record would currently be 27-18, which would be fourth in the East and just three games back of Miami for the top spot in the conference.

If Bynum returns in time to play 25 games, by Collins’ strategy, the team would go 15-10. Then again, the formula may change based on Bynum likely having some limitations.

“To think that we are going to run him out there for 35 minutes, that would not be feasible because then all of the sudden he would have a setback with that,” Collins said. “One thing I always do is listen, listen to the players. How do you feel? When that can happen, I am sure he will be on a little bit of a schedule as he has been. The thing will be how can we continue to build where he gets better every day.”

While Collins is holding reservations about Bynum, the coach is all in when it comes to the rest of the roster, particularly some players that recently found themselves on the bench.

The Sixers are coming off a win over the Wizards in which Lavoy Allen scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench. Allen’s motor was revving high for a change in the victory.

“He got mad at me, which is great,” Collins said of Allen. “I told him I love that. Even the guys on the team said, ‘Coach, he got mad’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’”

When asked what he did to make his second-year player so upset, Collins knew instantly.

“I was just being myself,” Collins said. “Me being me, Doug being Doug.”

Another person that was able to just be himself was Dorell Wright. The swingman had seven points, seven rebounds and five assists in 16 minutes after seeing no playing time in the previous two games.

“You have to stay positive, be professional and whenever coach calls your name, you have to go out there and perform,” Wright said. “You do whatever you can to help the team win and that is exactly what I tried to do. Coach came back to me after two games and I just tried to make the best of it.”

“If Dorell stood in the parking lot someone would stand next to him because they are not going to give him any of those shots,” Collins said. “That opens the floor up for other guys, so I am hoping he is going to build off last night.”

The Sixers played their third of eight straight home games on Wednesday night. They are seven games under .500 but they are ready to make a move toward a long-awaited win streak.

“Things are starting to shake out and I think that the guys can feel that,” Collins said. “We have really good team chemistry right now. I really like where our guys are.

“When I was in Detroit we used to call them Pac-man bites. Five games, we would take and put them upon the board and so these next five games what do we need to do?”

The answer to that is pretty simple. The Sixers just need to win and hold down the fort until Bynum joins them on the court.