The NBA regular season is fast approaching. After a season-opening date against the two-time champion Miami Heat on Oct. 30, the Sixers face some intriguing storylines from the opposition in the month of November.
Chicago pays a visit to the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 2. It will be the first time the Sixers have faced the Bulls with Derrick Rose since April 28, 2012.
On that day, the top-seeded Bulls were up 12 with 1:10 to play in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the Sixers. Rose caught center Spencer Hawes backpedaling off the dribble, crossed over and left his feet off a jump-stop. The former league MVP came down writhing in pain with a torn ACL.
Seventeen months later, Rose is back in action. Will he be as explosive as he was prior to the injury? Will he fear attacking the rim?
Two days after the Rose parade, Golden State comes to town. While Stephen Curry and his sharp shooting is basketball entertainment at its finest, the site of Andre Iguodala in another visitor’s uniform will again be front and center.
When Iguodala was a Sixer, he hardly captured the affection of Philadelphia fans. His body language often suggested issues were present and his monotone answers after games -- while thoughtful and intelligent -- painted the picture that what surrounded him was not enough.
Yet, Iguodala’s game says he produces winning numbers. The nine-veteran has started all 695 games he has appeared in throughout his career. He has averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game over that span. Iguodala is also an excellent defender and his unselfishness makes him a great teammate on a good team, as opposed to a questionable leader on a mediocre squad.
Cleveland comes to town on Nov. 9, but whether Andrew Bynum is along for the trip remains to be seen.
As you know, Bynum spent the entire 2012-13 NBA season on the sideline after being acquired by the Sixers. He came to Philadelphia with great fanfare and left with people saying good riddance. Everything in between was disappointment after disappointment.
Still, the Cavaliers signed the former All-Star center as a free agent to pair with their young core.
Seeing him take the Wells Fargo Center floor would certainly bring out a reaction from Sixers fans. However, Bynum’s knees may not allow him to do that … again.
The Sixers will face New Orleans twice in November to make for a double holiday.
Jrue Holiday honed his skills in a Sixers jersey for the first four years of his career. He became an All-Star last season, leading the Sixers in scoring, assists and minutes played before eventually being traded to the Pelicans on draft night.
How will Holiday’s new cast impact his game? Will he reach another All-Star Game in the deeper Western Conference?
More importantly for the Sixers, how will they adapt with Holiday no longer at the controls. We’ll start getting a firm answer on that come November.