That said, despite the urgency that is undoubtedly running through the city of Brotherly Love, it’s reassuring to see that the team is not making any brash decisions.
I’m referring to, of course, the Sixers’ treatment of injured guard Jrue Holiday, who has missed the last three games with a sprained left foot. With Andrew Bynum nowhere to be found, he has emerged as both the statistical and emotional leader for this young Philadelphia team.
Just because he means so much to the Sixers, though, doesn’t mean they should rush him back. According to John N. Mithchell of The Inquirer their plan is actually just the opposite:
“We can’t take this injury and make it a residual thing. We can’t take an acute injury and make it chronic,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “We have not had Andrew [Bynum] all year and we are going to miss Jrue some.”
The Sixers want Holiday to come back when he is 100 percent healed. They don’t want Holiday to overcompensate for his foot ailment, a situation that could lead to another injury.
“The guy’s 22,” said Collins, adding that Holiday might play Wednesday in Houston. “What am I going to do, put him out there and have him tear up his knee because he’s playing on one foot? That would be really silly to try and win a game in December. Now do we want to win? Absolutely. But now is not a time that you panic. You can’t take that approach. You just can’t do it.”
There’s really no refuting Doug Collins’ logic here. Obviously, with Bynum riding the pine, Holiday is of the utmost importance to the Sixers as they continue to fight to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. But he can only be of the utmost importance if he is healthy enough. Rushing him back doesn’t ensure he’s healthy enough and opens the door for what is just a sprain to become a re-occurring issue.
Let’s not forget that Holiday is having a career season as well. He’s averaging 18.4 points and 8.9 assists on 45.1 percent shooting from the floor—all career-highs. Do the Sixers really want to jeopardize that kind of production down the road when they need it most just so they can try to win a game or two more now?
Absolutely not. And they’re not going to. Just like they’re not going to bring Bynum back until they’re sure he can help this team, they’re not going to risk the well-being of their best player less than halfway through the season.
The going has gotten tough in Philadelphia, but it’s nice to see that the team refuses to give into the temptation of throwing caution to the wind and activating Holiday before he’s ready.
Such restraint will undoubtedly prove to be huge later on.
Like when a fully healthy, able-bodied Holiday leads the Sixers into the playoffs.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.