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Bynum a nightmare for Doc and C's

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: August 16, 2013

There was a refreshing calmness on the face of head coach Doug Collins, despite being inundated by a substantial throng of media members following Wednesday’s open press conference. 

Collins has experienced just about everything there is to experience during his 823-game NBA head coaching career, but one thing he has never had the opportunity to enjoy is the pleasure of possessing a legitimate two-way playmaker at the center position. That all changed Friday, when president of basketball operations Rod Thorn executed a blockbuster four-team deal that brought 24-year-old All-Star Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.

“I’ve never really had that guy that can possibly give me 20 points, 10 rebounds, and a couple of blocks a night, so (acquiring Bynum) is really exciting for me,” said Collins, shortly after rattling off the names of the dozen or so solid, albeit underwhelming, full-time starting centers whom he’s coached during his 10 years as a head man.

Indeed, Andrew Bynum is a player who could make things much easier for Collins… and much tougher for opposing head coaches around the Eastern Conference.

“When I was in London for the Olympics, (Boston Celtics head coach) Doc Rivers was there. One day (a few days before the trade was officially completed), we were talking about low post players and Doc said to me, ‘Really, the only guy I worry about is Andrew Bynum,’ and I was about ready to choke,” recalled a jovial Collins, with a chuckle.

The 7-footer is one of just 33 players in league history to average at least 18.7 points per game in a season while attempting 13.3 or fewer field goals, a feat he accomplished last season with the Lakers. The key now will be for Bynum to maintain his efficient play in Philadelphia, where he’ll be expected to carry a larger share of the offensive load than ever before in his seven-year career.

“Obviously, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol took a lot of pressure off of me,” Bynum told Sixers.com. “The difference here (in Philadelphia) is that we have a lot more (weapons) than just a big three, which is going to make teams really have to pay if they want to double- and triple-team us (in the post).”

The Philly roster has undergone a major overhaul this offseason and it appears to now fit the All-Star center's strengths to a T. Once characterized by a scarcity of perimeter shooting, the Sixers' roster now features an abundance of it. The team has three new players – Jason Richardson, Nick Young, and Dorell Wright  – who finished in the top-50 in terms of three pointers made per minute played last season; all three should see major minutes under Collins. 

Therefore, Bynum may see defenses more often shy away from double-teaming him for fear of being burned by the perimeter players who will be left open for the kickout.

Figuring out how all the moving parts will fit together in the end is a job intended for Coach Collins. Now, he'll watch with delight as his counterparts in 14 Eastern Conference cities scramble to prepare.