As NBA Preseason Draws Near, Bynum Getting Closer to Practicing

As NBA Preseason Draws Near, Bynum Getting Closer to Practicing

The Sixers will open their preseason schedule without Andrew Bynum this Thursday in Orlando, but insider Dei Lynam shared some good news from training camp on Monday.

There was some legitimate concern after the team announced they were shutting down their newly-acquired center for three weeks, a precautionary measure taken due to a bone bruise in his knee. He may be over a week away from stepping on the hardwood yet, but Bynum admitted he is feeling much better recently, thanks.

“I feel pretty good and I am definitely getting better,” Bynum said. "I just really have been trying to get down the offense because it is brand new.”

“I think if all the beans were on the table, I would be out there.”

Doug Collins also weighed in on Bynum's progress:

“He’s happier,” Collins said of Bynum’s mood. “He senses he is getting closer to play. Anybody who has ever been injured, especially going to a new team where so much is expected and you can’t get out there and play, it’s a downer. You see his energy level and he has worked his tail off.”

The beans will be on the table soon enough, three weeks from tomorrow in fact, so it's good to hear Bynum and his coach think he should be ready to go.

If the Sixers stick to a full three weeks off as expected though, that will give him little more than a week to practice with his teammates before the regular season begins on Halloween. You can read more from Dei about how Bynum and Doug are working through the process despite the big man not actually being allowed to play basketball -- but so far, it sounds like the two are really hitting it off.

>> Bynum feeling better, meshing with Collins [CSN]

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).