The Philadelphia 76ers are a much different team than the one that won its first round playoff matchup with the top-seeded Chicago Bulls last season, and many think the change is for the better.
The key for the Sixers' success this season will be dependent on Andrew Bynum's knees. The major offseason acquisition should be good to go, if the team is to be believed, but he hasn't been practicing or playing since having a procedure and injections done. If he's healthy all season, the 76ers are supposed to be a playoff team: Seth Rosenthal put the team at No. 13 in his NBA Power Rankings over at SB Nation, while Marc Stein's ESPN rankings put the Sixers at No. 14 and Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk put them at No. 12. A major contingency for all three is Bynum's health, as Helin writes:
Andrew Bynum remains a question mark for the season opener, and maybe a little longer. The Sixers overcame that in the preseason and looked great, but things will be more difficult now.
The 76ers are scheduled to open their season Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets