NBA power rankings 2012: Sixers still playoff contenders with Andrew Bynum

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

There's a lot of new pieces on the Philadelphia 76ers, but at first glance, the team should be talented enough to earn a playoff spot as the season gets underway.

The addition of Andrew Bynum turns the Philadelphia 76ers from a middling squad in the Eastern Conference to a team that can possibly do damage, although his health is a major concern as he struggles with knee issues.

There's plenty of new faces on Doug Collins' squad: Andre Iguodala is gone, Bynum, Jason Richardson are now in as a result of the Dwight Howard trade, with several other rotation pieces also joining Philadelphia. How well they fare is still yet to be seen, but the team is expected to be a contender for one of the eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Seth Rosenthal put the team at No. 13 in his initial NBA Power Rankings for SB Nation -- putting them seventh in the East -- but acknowledged that there's just too much that's undetermined about a team we haven't seen play together yet to make a firm assessment of their talent:

This is a drastically different team than last year's band of scrappy upstarts, and it's already unclear how much they'll be able to rely on their huge new asset and his creaky knees. (Andrew Bynum. We're talking about Andrew Bynum, if that wasn't evident). Philly has the shooters it lacked last season, but it's hard to picture this group defending as competently as last year's. Like a lot of the teams around them on this list, the Sixers are just too new to comfortably assess here in late October. Yet here we are.

Philadelphia is scheduled to tip off its season Wednesday night against Denver.

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