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Sixers need a 'smart, pesky' defense while Andrew Bynum is out

Without Andrew Bynum, the Philadelphia 76ers need to play smart, pesky defense, according to's Bob Cooney.

Bruce Bennett

If the Philadelphia 76ers are going to have success on defense without Andrew Bynum, they're going to have to boast a "smart, pesky" defense -- at least according to's Bob Cooney.

Cooney points to Philadelphia's win over Denver as the exact type of defense Philadelphia needs to play in Bynum's absence.

They have to rely on a pesky, smart and fast defense, as opposed to one that can gamble and wait for the big presence in the lane to swat away shots and reject and mistakes that may occur out front. They won't be able to do that until their huge center, Andrew Bynum, gets onto the court.

Bynum, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in August, has a bone bruise, and has yet to suit up for Philadelphia. Head coach Doug Collins said that Bynum will not play until he is 100 percent pain free, and said he had "no idea" when Bynum will return.

Still, Philadelphia's defense looked just fine against Denver without its new big man on the court. As Cooney pointed out, Denver was the league's top scoring team in 2011-12, and the Sixers held the Nuggets to just 75 points in Denver's season opener.

Philadelphia's next test will come against the New York Knicks on Sunday -- the same Knicks team that scored 104 points against the Miami Heat on Friday night. We'll see if Collins' defense can play smart and pesky again.