The Philadelphia 76ers are now ready for the second half of the season, with Jrue Holiday back from the All-Star Game on Feb. 17. Now the Sixers need Holiday to lead them back to a playoff spot, unless Andrew Bynum somehow returns to carry them like he was supposed to months ago. But after a whole first half of waiting around for Bynum, the Sixers’ patience has to be thinner in the second half, as some are ready to give up altogether.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Phil Sheridan declared himself ready to "cut the cord" right now, as he pleaded on Feb. 18 for the Sixers to shut Bynum down now and let him go in the offseason. He stated “It is time to end the pretense that Bynum is ever going to play center for the Philadelphia 76ers” and that “there is no hope for this franchise” if they aren’t already ready to get rid of him.
The Sixers have already played 51 games without him, and time is running out for Bynum to return fast enough to make any impact. If they are still clinging to hope for his return, Bynum doesn’t have much time to reward the Sixers’ faith and get them in the playoffs.
With Philadelphia at 22-29 and four games back of a playoff spot, it would have to get hot again over the next few weeks to contend for the postseason. If Bynum comes back after that, a case can be made that he would disrupt the Sixers’ chemistry at the worst time, just when they were learning to win without him. But if the Sixers are out of contention in a month, they won’t have to worry about that.
They could just focus on trying Bynum out to see if he is still worth a long-term deal. Yet Sheridan argues that he would only have “a showcase to make even more money elsewhere” for someone else. After all the expectations the Sixers had when they got Bynum, getting only that much out of it would be embarrassing.
Sheridan’s viewpoint that Bynum needs to be shut down and sent out of town now could catch on, if it hasn’t already. But if there’s any hope to change that, Bynum needs to be back within a month at the latest, since the Sixers can’t wait around for another whole half of a season.