Posts Tagged ‘Bob Cooney’

Sixers Taking No Risks With Holiday

HOUSTON — The Sixers definitely could have used Jrue Holiday in their lineup Wednesday. Especially when Evan Turner limped off the floor in the third quarter of a 125-103 loss, their worst of the season.

But even with their quick start to the season currently in free-fall with five defeats in a row, it was an easy decision to keep the budding young star Holiday under wraps, at least for one more night. Holiday, who averages a team-best 18.4 ppg and 8.9 apg, sat out his fourth game in a row with a sprained left foot.

“He’s 22 years old,” coach Doug Collins said. “We have a huge investment in him. We’ve just signed him to a long-term deal and there’s no way in the world right now we’re going to be short-term foolish. It just makes no sense.”

Not when the first third of the Sixers’ season has been played in limbo waiting on Andrew Bynum‘s ailing knees. The 7-foot center is scheduled to have an MRI and get another update today.

Though there is no indication at this point that Holiday’s problem is serious or has long-term implications, if any team should be wary, it is the Sixers. Through their history, Philadelphia has seen the careers of All-Stars Andrew Toney and Collins, himself, shortened by foot injuries.

“I don’t think this is an injury that you would say is chronic unless you tried to do it too soon,” the coach said. “The one thing I’ve always gone on … people questioned whether I was hurt. My father had just died. They couldn’t find anything on an x-ray, it was all in my head. And I had stress fractures in both of my feet.

“So when a player tells me he’s hurt, he’s hurt. I will never ever question that. To me, when a guy’s ready to go, he’ll go. I know Jrue wants to go more than anybody.”

The situation is made worse by Turner’s injury and that rookie Maalik Wayns, getting his first start of the season, hurt his right foot and played just 14 minutes. Backup guard Royal Ivey got a DNP-CD in Houston and has seen his minutes seriously curtailed since early in the season. The Sixers are also in grueling stretch of the schedule where they’re playing 10 of 11 games away from home.

Collins said after Wednesday night’s thumping by the Rockets that Holiday could return on Friday night against Atlanta.

“It is tricky,” Holiday told Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. “I feel like we could win a lot of games and I could help my team and, obviously, that’s a lot of pressure to put on me to come back. At the same time, I think I just want to be able to play basketball and walk and run and jump and all that stuff you have to do to be able to compete. I’m going to try and get back as quick as possible.”

Bynum Feeling Better, On The Way Back?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Stop now if you’re a Philadelphia 76ers fan tired of reading encouraging reports about Andrew Bynum and his potential return to action.

But if you’re still a believer in the power of the big man and what he could do for the Sixers, this might be the stocking stuffer that’ll make your Christmas. Bynum, strictly an observer so far this season due to knee issues, seems to be feeling much better these days and is potentially on his way back sooner rather than later, per Bob Cooney of the Daily News.

Apparently seeing his old teammates from Los Angeles boosted Bynum’s spirits a bit over the weekend:

Former teammates made their way into the Sixers locker room before the game after the media was cleared, probably stopping by to see their former running mate.

“Winning championships there was fun,” said Bynum. “But obviously my time there is done. Health is the main concern with me now. I don’t regret anything. Personally, they traded No. 1 (him) for No. 2 (Dwight Howard) and that is what happened. I think Dwight is a great player and has to get accustomed to playing and not touching the ball on every play.”

While Bynum has done nothing more than observe during his time here, he appears to be itching more than ever to get back on the floor. His doctor’s visit on Thursday will go a long way on letting everyone know how soon that is to happening.

“I think I could do wonders for this team because right now we don’t have a lot of post threat and that would help free up a lot of our guys from the outside – knock down shooters and Jrue and Evan are playing a lot with the ball right now so it would be good to join them and Thaddeus, also.

“The update is that I’m feeling much better. From the beginning of this year, the state of the injury when I see the doctor hopefully I’ll be cleared for impact. Only the left knee (is hurting) the right knee is fine.”

Fine, so the news isn’t all good if Bynum’s left knee is still hurting. Still, the Sixers could know as soon as Thursday when they’ll have Bynum back in action. He’ll need time to get in game shape and get up to speed as quickly as possible to help out a Sixers team that has lost three straight and is fighting to stay at .500 or better right now.

If the Sixers want to stay in the playoff mix they’ll need a boost. And an inspired and reasonably healthy Bynum could be exactly what they need to get them back on track.