May 16, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) handles the ball while being guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) during the second half in game two of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Changing Face: Sixers are Young and Dangerous

Just when we thought we were headed for another humdrum season with players such as Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown headlining our front court, the Sixers made a stunning splash with the acquisition of Andrew Bynum. Now that Andre Iguodala is gone for good, some fans will digress, but most recognize the significance of Philly finally having a seven-foot superstar that possess an array of post-moves that ultimately get the ball in the basket. The Iguodala era is dead and we shouldn’t have a problem with it all.

First, let’s breakout the numbers: Bynum entered the league at the age of 17, playing for the golden organization that is the Lakers. He quickly earned two championship rings in 2009 and 2010, alongside the talents of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Many can begin to see his shades of future greatness through his recent milestone feats, such as his monstrous game against the Spurs five months ago where he pulled down a total of 30 rebounds. Two months later, he had 10 blocks in one game against the Nuggets during the playoffs. His numbers gradually progressed with each year upon entering the league: averaging 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds as a rookie, to now putting up 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game.

Regardless if Bynum resigns or not after this season, Rod Thorn positioned this young team in the right path. If he stays, you best bet Doug Collins and his staff will groom Bynum into a dominant center. The Sixers will have a reliable post player, reminding some fans of the days when Philadelphia just oozed big-man talent with legends such as Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins through the years. Bynum is years away from measuring up to their accomplishments, but the big guy is already putting up 20-10 averages the ripe age of 24. You best bet these averages will skyrocket in Philly, as Bynum was found ferociously begging for the ball countless times in Los Angeles.

His maturity is one of his few downsides. It’s still fresh in our minds how he nearly beheaded Jose Barea less than two years ago with a fierce elbow as Barea drove to the hole. His ridiculous three-point attempts and immature post-game conferences are also things this team can do without. But the Sixers have an understanding and reasonable coach in Doug Collins that will do everything he can to make sure the team’s chemistry continues to run smooth in Philly.

The new season for the Sixers couldn’t be more interesting at this point. Philadelphia will start their 2012-2013 campaign by welcoming Iguodala and the Nuggets in their home opener. All of the young talents Philly has seeded years ago are developing with each year, with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner hungry to make an impact for this squad. The additions of straight-shooters such as Nick Young and Jason Richardson will also create some new energy for an offense that looked completely pathetic in last year’s playoffs. It’s still surreal to see Philadelphia finally have an inside presence in the paint, but even more shocking to see Iguodala gone after all these seasons drowned in mediocrity.

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Tags: 76ers Andre Iguodala Andrew Bynum Doug Collins

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