Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Bynum Will Anchor Team's New Inside-Outside Game
When the Philadelphia 76ers take the court for the first time this fall, they'll look radically different, and not just because of what they did in free agency.
With Andre Iguodala now a Denver Nugget and Andrew Bynum now a Sixer, Philly coach Doug Collins needs to essentially start from scratch on offense.
Last season, the Sixers played a run-and-gun style, averaging the fifth most field goal attempts (83.6) per game of any NBA team. Those attempts didn't quite translate into points, however; the Sixers finished 22nd in the league in terms of points per game (93.6).
Once Spencer Hawes went down with an injury in the middle of January, the Sixers scrambled to find a replacement post presence. Lavoy Allen, Nikola Vucevic and even Tony Battie all earned starts with Hawes out, but none ever threatened to be a legitimate low-post scorer.
In 2011-12, the Sixers also finished 25th in the NBA in terms of three-point field goals attempted per game, averaging 14.6 tries. (For the sake of comparison, Orlando led the league last season with 27 three-point attempts per game).
That figure shouldn't be a total surprise to anyone who watched the Sixers last season, especially once Evan Turner replaced Jodie Meeks in the starting lineup.
Sure, Andre Iguodala hit a career-high 39 percent of his three-point tries last season, but beyond Meeks (and Jrue Holiday, at times), the Sixers lacked any three-point specialists.
Only Iguodala, Holiday, Meeks and Louis Williams attempted more than one three-point attempt per game last season, but the team didn't have a single player shoot above Iggy's 39.4 percent from deep.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
In short, the 2011-12 Sixers often couldn't hit a three-pointer to save their lives and lacked any sort of legitimate interior force.
Enter Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Nick Young.
By trading for Bynum, the Sixers now have the dominant low-post presence they so sorely lacked last season. Bynum is one of the rare true centers left in the game and should be the team's unquestioned No. 1 focal point this season on offense.
At 7'0", 285 pounds, Bynum commands a double-, if not triple-team from opponents. He's too powerful to guard one-on-one for anyone not named Dwight Howard or Kendrick Perkins.
And if Bynum's being double- or triple-teamed, what does that mean for his teammates on the court? Wide-open looks.
Bynum needs to continue to improve in recognizing double-teams and passing out of them to open teammates if the Sixers have any hope of developing into a championship contender in the next few years. It hasn't been one of his strong points to date, admittedly.
Then again, it's not as though the Los Angeles Lakers had a shooter last year like Ray Allen.
This year, Bynum will have Richardson, the 15th most prolific three-point shooter in NBA history, Wright, who led the league in three-pointers made (and attempted) two seasons ago and Young, a 37.8 percent career shooter from deep.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
In 11 playoff games this past season, Young knocked down 51.5 percent of his threes attempted (and he averaged three per game!).
The Sixers, effectively, have created a team that looks rather similar to the Magic of the past few seasons.
The team is anchored by a superstar center who's surrounded by a combination of three-point shooters (Richardson, Wright, Young) and slashers (Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young).
In essence, the team should be able to score in a variety of ways.
It'll be difficult for the Sixers to remain as defensively sound as last season when they finished third in the NBA in points per game allowed (89.4), even with the addition of Bynum. With all of the new faces on the roster, it presumably will take some time before the players form a cohesive unit.
Still, even if the Sixers slump a bit defensively, the team now has the weapons on offense to compensate.
Realistically, with all of the team's new additions, the Sixers have no excuse not to score at least 95 points per game. That would have put them 20th last season, tied with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Sixers may not become an offensive juggernaut like Denver or Oklahoma City any time soon, but a modest increase in offensive output should be expected this coming season.
And it all starts with the Sixers' new franchise player, Andrew Bynum.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?