Sixers await 'crash course' with Bynum

Posted: October 16, 2012

DOUG COLLINS talked Saturday, after his 76ers played the Brooklyn Nets in an exhibition game in Atlantic City, about some of his players needing to get into better condition. He, of course, was talking about some of the 16 players who suited up for the game at famed Boardwalk Hall.

If you ask Sixers fans whose condition they care about most, however, it's that of the newly acquired 7-foot, 300-pound center, Andrew Bynum.

On Sunday, after about a 90-minute workout at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Collins gave an update on Bynum.

"He said he's feeling better," Collins said. "I think he's set for another injection. Eventually they are going to pick up him running on the treadmill and that will be a huge step. We have a new anti-gravity machine that can take up to 80 percent of your body weight off so you can get over there and run and only be hitting on 20 percent of your body weight. It's a great machine especially for a big guy. You get your heart rate up. That's a big step for him to get on that treadmill and pick it up and hope his knee responds well."

The injection of which Collins spoke, according to a source, was planned as part of Bynum's ongoing treatment from the Orthokine therapy he received in Germany last month. This injection involves lubricating the joints, the source said.

Since the announcement was made on Oct. 1 that Bynum was going to sit for 3 weeks, Collins has said that he hope to have his center back on the court in time to practice for a week before the regular season begins. Getting him into shape and ready to play with a whole group of new teammates will be a challenge.

"We've got some guys that I want to get in better condition," said Collins, whose team fell to 1-1 in the preseason with Saturday's 105-102 loss. "I think Andrew, in his career, has been a guy that has had to do a lot of conditioning without doing a lot of running. That's what happens, especially with big guys. You can't ask them to do a lot of running. He's gone through an injury before and he knows how hard he has to work. Then it's more of the timing and getting him into a rhythm and getting acclimated with our group and getting him used to playing. That's going to be a crash course."

While Collins brought up the subject of conditioning on Saturday, he wanted to make clear that while his team is in good shape, it needs to be in exceptional condition in order to perform at the level that he and his coaches need.

"A lot of our guys are in good shape, but I want to get them to that next level of where I want them to be," Collins said. "Defending takes its toll and if you're going to defend the way we like to defend, that takes a lot out of you. So now what ends up happening is if it takes your legs away now your shooting goes. You look at Boston last year, Doc Rivers said when the lockout ended he looked at his team and it wasn't in condition and ready to go. Look how they struggled until the All-Star break and then all of the sudden they kicked it in."

Collins is in a tough spot in that his team had 9 days of training camp before starting an exhibition season that threw at him seven games in 12 days. After that, he will have 8 days to prepare for the season opener on Oct. 31 against the Denver Nuggets. In order to make sure his guys are where they need to be physically, he's going to have to work them and listen to them.

"I always listen to veterans because they've done it a long time," Collins said. "[Sunday] was reviewing all the options of our plays. I thought we've become so worried about the play that we weren't concentrating on the options of the play. Let's run the play to the entirety, but each little piece is a scoring option within itself.

"We're walking that fine line all the time with how much guys are running and pushing and how much rest you're giving them to get them where they want to be. From our standpoint we've just got to little by little, keep teaching. I feel like there's not enough hours in the day right now. But I trust the guys. Guys have been around a long time they know what to do. I try to make them understand the comfort zone of pushing it to another level. I think when you're in supreme condition you're comfortable pushing it to another level."

Six shots

The Sixers will host the Boston Celtics on Monday, and center Kwame Brown is doubtful after straining a calf at Sunday's practice. The remaining preseason schedule has Cleveland visiting on Wednesday, then the Sixers playing at Brooklyn on Friday, at Boston on Sunday and against the New York Knicks in Syracuse on Monday.


Contact Bob Cooney at cooneyb@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage, read his blog at philly.com/Sixerville.

 

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