Philadelphia 76ers fans should be optimistic for the upcoming NBA season. This is a team that has cracked the playoffs the past few seasons and seems like it could be a true contender in the Eastern Conference.
One of the biggest factors in the meteoric rise we could see for Philadelphia next season is the trade bringing in a top center in Andrew Bynum. Pairing him with point guard Jrue Holiday could cause fits for any team in the NBA if they click right away.
While Holiday is a young point guard, he still hasn't made that gigantic leap to become an elite player in the league. He has the talent and athleticism but has always seemed to lack that certain something to help him get over that hump.
That something happens to be a post-dominating center like Bynum. Problem solved.
Bynum should instantly become the centerpiece for the 76ers offensive attack. He's an extremely strong player and very efficient whenever he's healthy. Seeing him average at least 25 points a night is highly possible, and it should be the difference in Philadelphia's average offense of the past few seasons.
Holiday was the starting point guard for the 76ers last season, but he often let Lou Williams do the majority of the ball-handling whenever he entered the game. With Williams gone, his duties and workload will greatly increase.
As for Bynum's significance, let's just say it gives Holiday a comfort target. We've seen flashes of Holiday's passing ability, but he's never been able to blow us away with his assist numbers. In fact, he has only averaged five per game over his short three-year career.
Bynum alone should be a factor in upping that quite a bit.
It's safe to say Bynum was never the main focus in his time with Los Angeles. He played with a ball-dominating shooting guard in Kobe Bryant and saw most of his opportunities in offensive rebounding and broken plays.
This is currently a league with a disappointing crop of big men. Besides Bynum and Dwight Howard, there are really no centers worthy of a max contract.
With that in mind, why shouldn't Philadelphia push that issue and dominate the post?
If Holiday can learn to utilize the size inside, he will create plenty of opportunity for others around him. Forcing defenses to collapse the post will open up shots for guys who can spread the floor for Philadelphia.
Working on a pick-and-roll offense should also help the two mesh. It's one of the oldest tactics in the league, but it's stuck around so long for a reason: It helps create mismatches and makes for better ball movement.
The options are there to help these two reach their potential, but each should benefit from the other immediately.
Bynum and Holiday's relationship could be the difference-maker in Philadelphia's ending result next season. This is a talented young team with plenty of depth, however the question remains if it can utilize its true strengths to advance further in the playoffs.
The pieces are certainly in place, now we just have to give them time to fit together.
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