Still plenty of time for Bynum to prove his worth

Still plenty of time for Bynum to prove his worth
January 15, 2013, 4:26 am
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The news surrounding Andrew Bynum was quite positive on Monday. However, when I tweeted about it one fan simply replied, blah, blah, blah.
I cant really blame him or any Sixers fan who is skeptical of Bynums progress. Since receiving an outpouring of love upon his arrival in August, many fans seem to have soured on Bynum. Thats to be expected. Im disappointed too, but I firmly believe we will see Bynum in a Sixers uniform and be able to judge for ourselves just how valuable a piece he can be to the franchise's future.
Bynum said on Monday that Its time to get ready to play and that he is aiming for a return around the NBA's All-Star weekend, which is Feb. 15-17. The Sixers have 31 games after the midseason break, which is plenty of time for Bynum to showcase his talent.
Since word came out that Bynum would be sidelined for an extended period of time, Ive always felt that if the Sixers could maintain a record somewhere around .500, they would have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. Presently, the Sixers are 16-22 on the season, four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With 11 of their next 12 games at home, this is a critical stretch for head coach Doug Collins' bunch. If his team responds in a favorable way, this might not end up being a lost season after all. However, there is very little room for error.
The jury is still out, but I still believe the blockbuster trade was worth the risk. If Bynum cant play meaningful games this season, itll be a serious question mark around whether the Sixers re-sign him this summer. That would be a shame because seven-footers with a skill set like Bynum's are a rarity in the NBA.
E-mail Neil Hartman at nhartman@comcastsportsnet.com.

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