Bynum Delays Return, Nets Defeat Pacers In OT and Nuggets Take On the RaptorsBy Debbie B.
At the season’s start, expectations were high for Andrew Bynum’s new chapter with the Philadelphia 76ers. But as we approach the All-Star break, the player hasn’t played a game this season and his return does not appear imminent.
On Monday, the Brooklyn Nets (30-22) defeated the Indiana Pacers (31-21) in OT, 89-84. This broke the team’s streak of five straight losses in Indianapolis.
And on Tuesday, Denver Nuggets (33-19) will travel to play the Toronto Raptors (19-32).The Raptors have a new lease on life with Rudy Gay and will try for a third straight win.
Bynum’s Return Delayed
With high hopes for a post-All-Star game return, Bynum is pushing back his return and hasn’t thrown out an estimate.
After two straight days of workouts, Bynum had knee pain and said on Monday to the media, “I’m not sure (if I’ll be back in February). It’s all going to depend on whether we get a setback or not. Right now I think things are going well.”
While the pain is nothing new, Bynum did say it was worse than usual.
For 76ers fans excited about the player, he may never step on the court for them as he is an unrestricted free agent after this season. The team has to decide if he’s worth the risk for next season as they’ll look ahead with their +15000 to win it all this year.
Nets defeat Pacers, 89-84 in OT
Without Deron Williams, the Nets persevered under a little extra time for Monday’s win.
Fortunately Brook Lopez contributed 25 points, followed by Reggie Evans with 22 points.
Joe Johnson hit four straight free throws in OT for the win and the Nets snapped their two-game losing streak.
As for the Pacers, it wasn’t their night.
The team’s All-Star forward Paul George only had five points (1 for 10 shooting) and David West had seven points with six rebounds.
The bright spot for the team was learning that the Chicago Bulls also lost on Monday and now they will maintain their Central Division lead.
Looking ahead, they’re +2200 for a June Championship win.
Denver vs. Toronto
Denver’s season has been all about its offense. It likes to score and playing Toronto on Tuesday may be a good opportunity for them to get their mojo back.
In their Dec. 3 game, Denver defeated Toronto 113-110. Since that time, the team has had five 123-plus games and before its Sunday fall to the Boston Celtics, it was averaging 114.6 points in its nine-game win streak.
Over 18 games, Denver went 15-3 with a 111.6 point average.
During the win streak, Danilo Gallinari was shooting 49.2 percent and for 3-pointers, 45.3 percent. But against the Celtics, he was 7 for 20 with 18 points. Meanwhile, Ty Lawson stepped up and was the team’s leading scorer with 29 points after averaging 20.0 points in the previous 11 games.
For Toronto, Rudy Gay is a much-needed spark. Since his acquisition, the team has gone 3-2 and he’s been averaging 23.4 point games, up from his 17.2 average with the Grizzlies.
In Sunday win against New Orleans, Gay had 20 points, followed by John Lucas’ 19 points (10 in the fourth quarter). This tied a season high for the player and in his last six games, Lucas has scored 17-plus points.
Jonas Valanciunas added 11 points (10 rebounds).
After starting out strong with 27 points combined in the season’s first two games, Andrea Bargnani then missed the next 26 games with an elbow injury. He missed Sunday’s game due to illness and has been listed as day-to-day.
In their last meeting, Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points while Corey Brewer came off the bench for 19 points.